Periodontitis, gum disease, affects many individuals. It begins with mild swelling of the gums which can cause them to turn red, be painful, and sometimes bleed. There are some cases however that show no signs at all. It usually starts in one area but can spread quickly without treatment. Gum recession can lead to gum disease, and gum recession can be caused by over brushing or an improperly positioned tooth.
It’s important that one seeks immediate treatment from a Periodontist specialist, if they experience any of the signs associated with gum disease in order to prevent it from spreading. Periodontitis is a result of untreated gingivitis and is why it’s so important to see a dental professional as soon as signs of redness, bleeding, inflammation, and pain begin. Periodontitis is only manageable where as gingivitis can be cured.
There are different levels of periodontal problems: mild, moderate, and severe. In mild or moderate conditions, the periodontist specialist focuses on curing the infection. This can include the following non-surgical treatments.
• Deep Scaling/Root Scaling – Deep scaling of the teeth and surrounding tissue is performed by removing the plaque and tartar. This can be used as a preventative measure or a stand-alone treatment to prevent spreading and possible tooth loss.
• Antibiotics – Antibiotics are placed into the affected area and remain there to do their job to fight the infection. This is not to be confused with irrigation, as this treatment stands alone in the area for a few days.
• Chemotherapeutic Irrigation – This treatment is usually given simultaneously to deep scaling and consists of the specialist placing an antibacterial solution into the infected area.
When periodontal disease is severe or advanced, the jawbone will regress. This regression will cause teeth to become loose. The periodontist specialist may need to do more intensive cleaning and or pull loose teeth that can’t be saved. When the disease has progressed and surgical procedures are necessary to contain Periodontitis, the periodontist specialist may need to perform the following treatments.
• Pocket Reduction – A pocket reduction treatment consists of folding back the gum and removing the plaque and tartar hidden behind it. The specialist may also remove any infected tissue before sewing the healthy gum back into place.
• Bone Grafting – A bone grafting treatment is when the specialist removes a piece of bone from another area and adds it to the affected weakened and damaged bone due to the gum disease.
• Gum Grafting – Healthy gum is removed from another area of the patient’s mouth and added to the tooth root area of the affected area.
There are other surgical treatments such as regression, gum sculpting, root coverage and crown lengthening. The periodontist specialist will thoroughly examine your mouth and discuss with you, your options that will provide the best prevention, protection and improved appearance for the best and healthiest smile possible.