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If you have advanced periodontal disease (periodontitis), treatments are available to help you save your teeth. However, time is of the essence, as tooth loss is imminent when severe gum disease is allowed to progress.
What Is Periodontal Disease?
Periodontal (gum) disease results from bacterial infections in the gums. When gum disease goes untreated, it also endangers the underlying tooth-supporting jaw bone.
The first visible sign of gum disease is red, inflamed gums that often bleed. When allowed to progress, the gums start to separate from the teeth, and pockets develop. Bacteria accumulate in these spaces, destroying gum tissue and bone, eventually leading to tooth loss.
Individual teeth can be affected, or your entire mouth can be at risk.
Causes of Gum Disease
Periodontal disease can be caused or worsened by the following:
- Hormonal changes
- Improper oral hygiene (plaque and tartar build-up)
- Poor nutrition
- Smoking/tobacco use
- Teeth grinding
Non-surgical gum disease procedures are reserved for less severe cases, like gingivitis and mild to moderate periodontitis. When caught early, these conditions can benefit from the following:
Traditional Surgical Treatments for Advanced Periodontitis
Pocket Reduction (Osseous Surgery)
This procedure removes tartar and bacteria from around the tooth roots and reduces the pockets they cause.
During this procedure, tooth roots are cleared of all debris, and the underlying bone is reshaped. Pocket reduction is a tried and true technique in the treatment of advanced periodontal diseases; however, it cannot save teeth that are loose due to severe bone deterioration.
Soft Tissue Grafts
Receding gums result from the destruction of gum tissue, and when this happens, your tooth roots and underlying bone become more vulnerable to the destructive effects of periodontitis.
Tissue grafting is often used to reconstruct receding gums and restore the protection they are designed to provide. Tissue grafting involves removing a thin piece of tissue from the roof of the mouth and then placing it between the receding gum and tooth, which allows it to grow into healthy gum tissue.
Regenerative Treatments for Advanced Periodontitis
Guided Bone Regeneration
Guided tissue or bone regeneration is an advanced technique used to restore areas of the jaw that have degraded. This process of bone loss is called resorption and leads to tooth loss and changes in the shape of the face.
During this procedure, areas of degenerated bone are cleaned and prepared to receive a bone graft, while a tissue membrane is placed between the gum and bone. The bone and gum tissue will immediately start growing. Within six months, the regenerated dental structures are strong enough to stabilize teeth that otherwise would have been lost, or receive a dental implant if the teeth could not be saved.
Interested in Learning More?
Dr. Afshin Salamati is a periodontist in Beverly Hills, specializing in advanced gum disease care. His practice provides both traditional and regenerative treatments, and he may combine procedures to meet the needs of his patients.
If you suspect that you or a loved one has gum disease, call today at 310-275-1090.