Ever experienced sore gums or seen blood in your brush or sink when you brush your teeth? This could be one of the warning signs of gum disease. Gum diseases begin with bacterial growth in the mouth and are one primary reason people lose their teeth due to the destruction of the tissue surrounding the teeth.
Gingivitis and Periodontitis
The mild variety of gum disease is called gingivitis (gum inflammation), where only gums are infected. If left untreated, the infection can go below the gum line into the bone and cause periodontitis, a severe form of gum disease resulting in tooth loss.
Knowing the symptoms of gingivitis and periodontitis helps you to identify the problem before it gets serious. The main symptoms of the disease are as follows:
- Red, swollen gums
- Bad breath
- Shrinking of gums
- Sensitive teeth
- Shifting teeth
Reasons for gum disease
- Hormonal changes
- Certain illnesses and medications.
- Poor oral hygiene habits
- Family history of dental disease
Depending on the criticality of the disease, your medical history, and overall health, various treatments are available, ranging from non-surgical therapies that help control bacterial growth to surgery that restore supportive tissues.
Non-surgical Treatments for Gum Disease
Treatments for gum disease that don’t involve surgery include:
Professional dental cleaning.
Here, your dentist will remove the plaque and tartar from all teeth. This is not a treatment for active severe gum disease but is a measure to prevent its development.
Scaling and root planing.
This is a deep cleaning process where plaque and tartar are scraped away in a non-surgical procedure done under a local anesthetic, and rough spots on the tooth root are made smooth (planing). Planing removes bacteria and provides a clean surface for the gums to reattach to the teeth.
Surgical Treatments for Gum Disease
Surgical treatments for gum disease are:
Flap surgery/pocket reduction surgery
Here, the tartar is removed by lifting back the gums. The dentist then stitches the gum tightly back in place to prevent more tartar from forming.
This treatment involves using fragments of bones to replace destroyed bones. The grafts serve as a base for the regrowth of bone, which restores stability to teeth.
Soft tissue grafts
Here, thin gums or fills are reinforced in areas where gums have receded.
Guided tissue regeneration
This treatment stimulates bone and gum tissue growth and is best performed when the bone supporting your teeth has been destroyed. Here, a mesh-like fabric is inserted between the bone and gum tissue and is done along with flap surgery to keep the gum tissue from growing into the place where the bone should be. This procedure allows the bone and connective tissue to regrow to better support the teeth.
Done following flap surgery, in this procedure, the bone around the tooth is reshaped to decrease the craters preventing the bacteria collect and grow.
Dentists opt for suitable treatments after evaluating the patient’s general condition and the severity of the disease. Some patients need the non-surgical procedure of scaling and root planing. Surgery is necessary when the tissue around the teeth is unhealthy and can’t be non-surgically repaired.
To know more, please reach out to us on call at (773) 374-9778 or schedule an online consultation.