How is Gum Disease Treated?
Approximately 47.2% of American adults over the age of 30 have some form of gum disease. Gum disease, also known as periodontal disease, is the inflammation of gums caused by bacterial plaque. If left untreated, this disease can turn aggressive and chronic and destroy your gums and supporting bone tissues, resulting in loss of teeth. At Davis Dental Practice, Our doctors and our doctors we can check the health of your gums and will prescribe the appropriate periodontal treatment for it.
How Does Gum Disease Progress?
Gum disease is caused by a bacterial biofilm called plaque. If you do not take care to clean your teeth properly, bacteria will colonize in your mouth, forming hardened calculus. This calculus cannot be removed at home and requires professional dental intervention. If it is not treated, the bacteria will infect your gums resulting in gum disease.
The earliest stage of gum disease is known as gingivitis. This stage is marked by tender and inflamed gums. You may also experience some bleeding when you brush your teeth. At this stage, your gums experience only minor damage and can be treated to reverse the damage. However, if left to progress, gingivitis will turn to periodontitis.
At this stage, deep pockets will start to develop between your gums and teeth and your gums will shrink back, making your teeth appear longer. This will expose the tooth root, which will result in tooth sensitivity. The bacteria will delve deep into the tooth pockets and infect the root as well as the bone structure. The damage at this stage is severe and irreversible and you will notice your teeth becoming loose in their socket.
If gum disease is allowed to advance, it will result in loss of teeth.
Treatment for Gum Disease
When you develop gum disease, prophylaxis or preventive dental cleanings are not enough to get rid of the infection. Our doctors and our doctors can prescribe various methods to treat periodontitis.
Scaling and Root Planing
Scaling and root planing focus on controlling the spread of bacteria. We will use an ultrasonic instrument to shake loose large bits of calculus from your teeth. Then we will use fine instruments to scrape off the rexing tartar. We will then smooth down the tooth root so that bacteria may not be able to attach to it and reinfect it.
We may also prescribe antibiotic medication to fight re-infection.
Pocket Reduction Surgery
Gum pockets that are more than 5 or 6 mm deep can be hard to clean since the bacteria have burrowed in too deep. In this case, we recommend a pocket reduction or gum flap surgery. The surgery involves making incisions in the gum so that they can be folded back to expose the underlying tooth root. The infection is cleaned out from the root and the gum is sutured back into place. This is a minimally invasive procedure and you can go back to your routine duties within a single day.
Once your gums are destroyed, they cannot grow back. In this case, we will recommend a gum graft. We will take a soft tissue sample from somewhere else in your mouth and suture it into the places where gums have been lost. This will reconstruct your jawline, cover up the exposed tooth root and provide protection from the bacteria.
Periodontal disease is chronic and is incurable. However, with regular periodontal maintenance, it can be controlled.
Depending on the severity of your gum disease, we will require you to visit us every two to four months, because bacteria re-colonizes within that time and if you wait six months to come in for an appointment, it may cause even more harm to your gums and teeth. Keeping up with your periodontal health is extremely important.
Keep in mind that untreated gum disease can lead to premature tooth loss as well as a range of other adverse health consequences including uncontrolled diabetes, heart disorders, premature birth, and osteoporosis. So if you notice signs of gum disease, schedule an appointment by calling (530) 756-5300 today. Periodontal maintenance is the only non-invasive way to fight oral bacteria that causes gum disease.