Healthy teeth begin with healthy gums. A healthy smile is aesthetically pleasing as well as vital to your overall wellbeing. If your gums have become red and swollen, you may have developed periodontal disease, which can eventually lead to tooth loss. Maintaining proper oral hygiene and periodontal care are recommended for aiding in the prevention of gum disease and complete care of your mouth.
What Is Periodontal Disease?
Periodontal (gum) disease results when bacterial infections form in the gums and tooth-supporting bones. The bacteria from plaque cause the gums to inflame and bleed. If left untreated, gums can separate from the teeth to form infected pockets that collect bacteria and continue to destroy gum tissue and bone. This eventually leads to tooth loss. Periodontal disease can be limited to one tooth or can affect your entire mouth. Dr. Salamati offers surgical treatment options for those with more advanced cases of gum disease or to correct gum issues that often lead to periodontal disease.
Periodontal Disease Can Be Caused by...
- Bacterial plaque
- Smoking/tobacco use
- Pregnancy and hormonal changes
- Grinding your teeth
- Poor nutrition
Surgical Treatment Options
Surgical Treatment Options
Pocket reduction surgery removes tartar and disease-causing bacteria from the tooth roots while reducing the pockets that cause periodontal disease. During this procedure, the roots are cleaned, and the bone around the tooth is reshaped. This technique is often the treatment of choice for more advanced periodontal diseases.
Guided bone/ tissue regeneration can now be used to treat gum disease. During this procedure, the pockets of degenerated bone are cleaned, a bone graft is placed, and a membrane is inserted to separate the soft tissue and the bony defect. This allows the bone to “regenerate” and grow, and it stabilizes the teeth or prepares the jaw for implants.
In cases where there is an excessive amount of gum, the extra tissue not only results in an undesirable “gummy smile” but can also diminish the patient’s ability to brush and floss properly. This can lead to gum disease. For this procedure, small incisions are made around the gum tissue to reshape the tissue and bone. This will result in a more aesthetically pleasing smile.
Crown lengthening can help save teeth that are decayed, broken, or below the gumline or have insufficient tooth structure for a crown. This procedure adjusts the gum and bone level to expose more of the tooth so it can be restored. Many teeth can be saved by this procedure and an implant can be avoided.
Receding gums is one of the symptoms of periodontal disease. Your gums are the first defense against bacteria, and when they recede, you lose that protection. Also, gum recession can be unsightly and lead to root sensitivity. Tissue grafting is used to reconstruct receding gums. A thin piece of tissue is removed from the roof of the mouth and positioned around the tooth.
Frequently Asked Questions
Good oral hygiene is the best way to prevent gum disease. This includes consistent brushing and flossing as well as regular dental visits and cleanings.
Common symptoms include bleeding gums during brushing or flossing, red, swollen, or tender gums, receding gum lines, persistent bad breath, and loose or separating teeth. If you notice any of these symptoms, see a dental professional right away.
There are many different classifications of periodontal disease. Gingivitis is the mildest form and can be reversed through professional treatment and proper oral maintenance. Aggressive periodontitis is characterized by rapid attachment loss and bone destruction. Chronic periodontitis results in inflammation between the supporting tissues and the teeth and is characterized by pocket formation.
Surgical treatments are reserved for cases in which non-surgical services are no longer viable. Non-surgical therapy may be recommended if your gum disease is limited to gingivitis and mild to moderate forms of periodontitis. Commonly, treatment will begin with a thorough cleaning that includes scaling to remove plaque and tartar beneath the gum line. Tooth roots can then be smoothed to allow the gum tissue to heal and reattach to the tooth. During this time, antibiotics may be prescribed to aid in the healing process.
If untreated, bacteria and the resulting inflammation from the mouth can spread through the body and lead to serious conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, and respiratory disease.
Periodontal bacteria can lead to bone loss in the jaw. Since this bone is what keeps your teeth in place, bone loss can lead to tooth loss.