Periodontal Gum Treatment
Gum disease begins with mouth bacterial growth and may end with tooth loss due to damaged tissue that surrounds your teeth. Downtown Dental Associates wants to help you learn how to prevent and treat gum disease before it gets serious.
Gingivitis is the beginning stage of periodontitis. The bacteria build up, and the gums become dusky red, puffy and bleed during tooth brushing. It is usually not painful, so it’s important to have a dental check-up if you notice changes in your gums.
Causes of Gingivitis
The most common cause is poor oral hygiene, which leads to plaque forming. Plaque is bacteria, and if it sits on your teeth for too long it can lead to cavities, and gingivitis.
If gingivitis is treated quickly, then it will not progress into a more serious gum disease. These are some treatments your dentist may recommend:
- A dental cleaning to remove all plaque and tartar
- Brush your teeth twice a day and floss daily
- Use antiseptic mouth rinse
- Have regular professional teeth cleanings
If you don’t see a dentist for your gingivitis, it may turn into a more serious gum infection periodontitis. The inner layer of the gum and bone will pull away from the teeth and form pockets where debris can enter and lead to infection. Symptoms may be swollen, tender, receding gums, pus between teeth and gums, bad taste in the mouth or loose teeth.
Causes of Periodontitis
The most common cause of this gum disease is also plaque, as well as many other factors:
- Hormonal changes: this can occur during pregnancy, puberty, menopause, and make gums more sensitive, so gingivitis can occur more easily.
- Smoking: harder for gum tissue to repair.
- Medications: lessens the flow of saliva, which is needed to protect teeth and gums.
- Poor oral hygiene: not brushing or flossing, or visiting your dentist regularly.
Periodontitis level of severity depends on what treatment is used. If it hasn’t advanced too much, non-surgical treatments are an option.
- Scaling: removes tartar and bacteria from teeth and beneath gums with a manual handheld instrument or ultrasonic device.
- Root planning: smoothes root surfaces to discourage further tartar buildup. If the periodontitis is advanced, the gum tissue won’t respond to nonsurgical treatments. It may require dental surgery:
- Flap surgery: periodontist makes tiny incisions in gum so the gum tissue is lifted back to expose roots. The underlying bone can be recontoured before gum tissue is sutured in place. The procedure takes one to three hours with local anesthesia.
- Bone and tissue grafts: this helps regenerate any bone or gum tissues lost from periodontitis. Natural or synthetic bone is placed in the area of bone loss to help promote bone growth. The tissue is also placed in the area of tissue loss to promote growth.