Gum Disease Treatment
What Is Periodontal Disease/Gum disease?
Gum disease is an oral health condition that begins as a result of a bacterial infection. It is a progressive condition that only continues to grow worse the longer it goes untreated. Treatment for gum disease varies based on the severity of your condition. At Mettler & Griego Family Dentistry, we can provide you with the effective treatment you need to put a stop to the progression of gum disease and restore the health of your mouth.
How Gum Disease Progresses
Gum disease begins as a result of a bacterial infection. The bacteria in your mouth irritate your gums. This triggers an inflammatory response from your immune system. This causes your gums to become swollen. Eventually, the swollen tissue pulls away from your teeth, leading to the formation of periodontal pockets. Bacteria and plaque can accumulate in the pockets, allowing bacteria to attack your gums from the inside. As the pockets grow deeper, the bacteria can also begin attacking your jawbone and periodontal ligaments. These supporting structures weaken, causing your teeth to become unstable. Your gums recede, and your teeth become loose. You may even be faced with tooth loss.
Prophylaxis is regular dental cleaning. This type of treatment is performed in the earliest stages of gum disease, before too much damage has been done. We scrape the surfaces of your teeth, eliminating plaque, tartar, and bacteria, and pay close attention to the areas around, and just below, the gum line. This is the least invasive treatment.
Scaling and Root Planing
Scaling and root planing is a minimally invasive treatment that is commonly used to treat gum disease. This treatment is a deep cleaning of your teeth that involves not only cleaning the visible surfaces of your teeth but the surfaces below the gum line as well. Scaling is the process of cleaning the visible surfaces of your teeth, with special attention given along, and just below, the gum line. Root planing is the process of cleaning the root surfaces of your teeth, smoothing them. This prevents new bacteria from accumulating. Finally, an antimicrobial rinse is used to kill any remaining bacteria. With this treatment, your gums can reattach to your teeth, restoring the health of your mouth.
Pocket Reduction Surgery
When your periodontal pockets are too deep to clean effectively with scaling and root planing, periodontal pocket surgery may become necessary. This surgical procedure gives us access to the roots of your teeth, allowing for more effective cleaning. Once your teeth have been thoroughly cleaned, we suture your gums closed snugly against your teeth. With your teeth effectively cleaned, they can begin to reattach to your teeth.
Osseous surgery is performed in conjunction with pocket reduction surgery when the bacteria have begun to attack your jawbone. When this happens, the bone can become uneven, providing hiding places for bacteria. With osseous surgery, we can smooth the bone, eliminating these hiding places. This also gives your gums an opportunity to reattach to your jawbone as well as your teeth.
Soft Tissue Grafting
Gum recession occurs as periodontal pockets grow deeper. Infected tissue dies off, leading to the receding gum line. This not only affects your smile, but it can also increase your risk for cavities and can contribute to unstable teeth. A gum graft is a surgical procedure that is performed to restore a healthy, natural gum line. This procedure involves taking tissue from another area of your mouth, typically the roof of your mouth, and suturing it over the affected teeth.
Bone grafting is a surgical procedure that is performed when you have lost bone mass. The procedure, generally performed before the placement of dental implants, involves transplanting bone mass from another area of your body, or from a donor, to the affected areas of your jawbone. This process restores strength to your jaw, allowing it to more successfully support dental implants.
Treating gum disease is essential for stopping its progression and allowing your mouth to heal. For more information, and to schedule your appointment, call Mettler & Griego Family Dentistry at (623) 562-5230 today.