Many people suffer from gum diseases and require extensive dental appointments for treatment. Although there are three stages of periodontal disease, namely gingivitis, periodontitis and advanced periodontitis, regular visits to the dentist and good oral hygiene can prevent the problem from even occurring. However, for individuals who already have gum disease, there are treatments that can either reverse the problem or at least halt its progression. If you have periodontal disease, you will want to consider one of the following options. Discuss with your dentist which is the best treatment for you.
When you have a routine dental checkup, your dentist or dental hygienist gives you a deep cleaning that can remove the plaque and tartar from your teeth and below your gum line. If you have periodontal disease, you will be advised to come to the dental office more than twice per year for deep cleaning. Generally, this is a good option for the treatment of gingivitis that can help to prevent the condition from progressing into periodontitis.
For some patients, antibiotics in the form of topical ointments or pills may help to control a bacterial infection in the gums. The dentist may also prescribe an antibiotic mouth rinse that should be used once or twice a day after brushing your teeth. This is a treatment that is not usually used alone and usually accompanies another procedure like scaling and root planing.
Scaling and Root Planing
Scaling and root planing is a process that involves deep cleaning performed under a local anesthetic. The dentist or hygienist scrapes away the plaque and tartar from below the gum line and on the tooth enamel. This removes the harmful bacteria that aid in the progression of periodontitis.
Surgical Treatment Options
Sometimes, it may be necessary to have surgery for treating gum disease. The following are options the dentist may offer:
- Flap surgery/pocket reduction surgery: Flap and pocket reduction surgery is a procedure that involves pulling back the gums to eliminate the buildup of tartar. Sometimes, the damaged bone is also worked on to limit the amount of bacteria buildup in those areas. The procedure also involves reducing the size of the space between the tooth and gum.
- Bone grafts: This is a procedure that takes bits of your bone, donated bone or even synthetic bone is used to replace the natural bone in the mouth that has been destroyed by periodontitis. This can also help to stimulate the regrowth of bone, which can save your teeth by giving them newfound stability.
- Soft tissue grafts: Soft tissue grafts can fill in spaces in the mouth where the gums have receded due to gum disease. The tissue is normally taken from the roof of the mouth and is stitched into the affected areas of the gums.
- Guided tissue regeneration: This is a procedure that is done for individuals whose jaw bones have suffered significant damage and threatens tooth loss as a result. It helps to stimulate bone and tissue regrowth and is performed along with flap surgery. A piece of mesh fabric is placed between the bone and gum to keep tissue from growing where there should be bone. In turn, this allows for better support to the teeth.
- Bone surgery: Bone surgery can help when there is advanced bone loss due to advanced periodontitis. It also helps to make the development and growth of bacteria more difficult.
If you have periodontal disease, you may want to talk to your dentist about the best treatment options for your situation. You can also learn about preventative measures to save your teeth.
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