Oral bacteria attack the dentin once the gums start to recede.
If you are suffering from gum disease, you’re not alone. According to research from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), almost 50% of the U.S. population aged 30 and over has experienced mild, moderate, or severe periodontitis, or gum disease.
The good news is, periodontal disease is treatable, and if caught early enough, it is entirely reversible.
The goals of gum disease treatment are many. They include the following:
Thoroughly clean the pockets that have formed between teeth and gums, and reduce their depth
Prevent damage to surrounding bone
Reduce risk of infection, and stop progression of the disease
Promote reattachment of healthy gums to the teeth
Gum disease treatment will vary depending on the stage of the disease, as well as your overall medical history and your response to previous treatment. Both surgical and nonsurgical intervention is possible.
If your periodontitis has not yet reached advanced stages, it may be treated with the following procedures:
Professional cleaning: Your dentist will remove the plaque and tartar that has formed around your teeth, including from the area below the gum line. He may recommend more frequent cleanings to help combat early stage gum disease.
Scaling:After administering a local anesthetic, your dentist will use special instruments to remove tartar and bacteria from your tooth surfaces and beneath your gums.
Root planing: This process involves smoothing out tooth root surfaces, providing an ideal surface to which gums may reattach.
Antibiotics: Topical or oral antibiotics may be prescribed to help control or eliminate the bacteria that causes infection.
If periodontitis has reached advanced stages, your gum tissue may no longer respond to non-surgical treatment. In that case, you may be referred to a specialist known as a periodontist. He or she may perform one of the following surgical procedures:
Flap surgery/pocket reduction surgery: In this procedure, small incisions are made to allow the dentist to more effectively remove tartar by means of scaling and planing. The periodontist may recontour the tooth so that the gum fits more snugly around it. The gum is sutured into place, decreasing the area where harmful bacteria can grow.
Bone grafting: If gum disease has destroyed some of the bone surrounding your tooth, it may need to be replaced. Your dentist may recommend using a piece of your own bone, or donated or synthetic bone to accomplish this. The new bone serves as a platform, stimulating your body to regenerate bone and tissue growth.
Soft tissue grafting: Soft tissue may be taken from the roof of your mouth, then reattached to your gums to reinforce them or fill in spots where the gums have receded.
Guided tissue regeneration: This technique helps restore bone tissue where it has been destroyed, by stimulating bone and tissue growth. In one technique, a special piece of bio-compatible fabric is placed between the existing bone and your tooth. This keeps soft tissue from growing into the area where the bone needs to regenerate, and promotes new bone growth.
These are just a few of the methods available to patients today. Your dentist can discuss these and other techniques in greater detail with you in person.
The Road to Recovery
Your Yuba City Dentist is experienced in the above procedures, and can perform most of them in the comfort of our office. Details regarding the amount of time needed for the procedure, options for anesthesia and the amount of time you need to heal will vary according to your individual circumstances.
These techniques make it possible that you no longer have to suffer from the effects of gum disease. Contact us today and let us help you get on the road to recovery as soon as possible.