Periodontal Treatment (Gum Disease)
Periodontal disease encompass a variety of gum diseases. These can range from a simple gum inflammation to a serious disease that may result in major damage to the soft tissue and bone that support the teeth.
What causes gum disease?
Our mouths are full of bacteria and along with mucus as well as other particles, can form plaque on teeth. Plaque that is not removed can form “tartar” which can cause gum disease.
What are common risk factors to gum disease?
Smoking, hormonal changes in girls/women, diabetes, genetic susceptibility and other illnesses (eg: cancer, AIDS)
What is Gingivitis?
Gingivitis is a mild form of gum disease caused by a bacteria that causes the inflammation of gums. This makes gums become red, swollen and can cause them to bleed easily. However, this gum disease does not include any loss of bone and tissue that hold teeth in its place.
What is Periodontitis?
If gingivitis is not properly treated, it can advance to periodontitis. This stage involves inflammation around the tooth and the gums actually pull away from the teeth and form spaces that become infected. If untreated, the bones, gums and tissue surrounding the teeth will be destroyed. This will cause the tooth to eventually become loose and may have to be removed.
Non-Surgical Treatments: includes scaling & root planing. This involves a careful cleaning of the root surfaces to remove any plaque and tartar from the periodontal pockets. This will smooth the tooth root and remove any bacteria.
Bone Grafts: recreates the bone and support tissue that is lost in patients with periodontitis. Teeth roots are thoroughly cleaned and the holes in the bone are filled with a graft material. Then, the graft is covered with a physical barrier that prevents the gums from turning into the bony defect. After the graft is placed, the gums are put back over the treated site and stitched into place. The patient’s body will regenerate bone and soft tissue in this area over the next 6 – 9 months.
Gum Grafts: can be used to cover roots or develop gum tissue that is absent from gingival recession. Periodontist takes a flap of tissue that is extracted from the mouth which is then attached to the gum area being treated. This will reduce further recession and bone loss.