How Is Gum Disease Treated?
Gum disease, also called periodontal disease, is a serious issue. When it starts, however, it does not always seem so significant. In fact, most people with the early stages of gum disease are completely unaware of its presence. Gum disease is caused by a buildup of plaque and bacteria on your teeth. These substances produce toxins that irritate your gums, causing inflammation. Inflamed tissue begins to pull away from the teeth, creating pockets. Bacteria begin attacking your jawbone and periodontal ligaments in addition to your gums. Untreated, you could be faced with gum recession, loose teeth, and tooth loss. The Elmwood Dental Group LLC can help with gum disease treatment.
Scaling and Root Planing
Scaling and root planing is a common treatment for gum disease. It is a deep cleaning of your teeth, during which we clean the surfaces above your gum line as well as the root surfaces below. Scaling is the cleaning of the visible surfaces of your teeth. With a scaler, we can remove all buildup, including the most stubborn tartar. Root planing is the cleaning of your root surfaces. We use small, specialized tools to remove plaque, bacteria, and other toxins from your tooth roots, effectively smoothing them. Finally, an antibiotic is administered to help kill any lingering bacteria.
Periodontal maintenance is a series of regularly scheduled appointments designed to help your mouth heal following gum disease treatment. With periodontal maintenance, we assess buildup on your teeth, monitor the depths of your periodontal pockets, and check over the condition of your gums. We also clean your teeth during these visits to eliminate any buildup that may have accumulated since your last appointment. The time between visits depends on your needs, generally ranging from as often as every two months to as little as every six months.
Soft Tissue and Bone Grafting
Advanced stages of gum disease can lead to gum recession and bone loss. Gum recession affects your smile while also leaving you more susceptible to cavities. With a soft tissue graft, we take soft tissue from the roof of your mouth and suture it in place over the affected areas. Your existing tissue and the new tissue fuse together against your teeth to form a natural, healthy gum line.
Bone loss in the jaw compromises the stability of your teeth. It can also affect the shape of your jaw, which can affect your bite and your facial aesthetics. A bone graft is a surgical procedure that involves taking bone mass from another area of your body and transplanting it to the weak areas of your jaw. Your existing bone mass fuses to the new material, restoring shape and strength. If you have suffered tooth loss, a bone graft can help to increase the success of treatment with dental implants.
With appropriate treatment, we can help to stop gum disease in its tracks, allowing your mouth to begin healing. For more information, and to schedule your consultation, call The Elmwood Dental Group LLC at (860) 331-8748 today.