Periodontic Dentistry

PERIODONTAL DISEASE

DiagramToday, infection of the gums and of supportive tissues surrounding the teeth (periodontal disease) can be controlled. In some cases, it can be reversed. There are a number of treatments for this disease, whether it has developed slowly or quickly. Periodontal treatment can make your mouth healthier and help preserve your teeth.

There are many signs of periodontal disease including swollen, painful or bleeding gums, bad breath, and loose or sensitive teeth. But gums don’t always let you know they’re in trouble. This is true even in the late stages of the disease. Without you knowing it, infection could be destroying the soft tissues and bone that support your teeth. With regular checkups, periodontal disease can be diagnosed and treated early. This brings the best results.

PERIODONTAL TREATMENT: NONSURGICAL OPTIONS

Nonsurgical treatment removes plaque and tartar. It does this by controlling the growth of harmful bacteria and by treating conditions that promote gum disease. This type of treatment may be all you need, especially if your periodontal disease is found early.

Nonsurgical treatment options include Scaling, a type of cleaning that removes plaque and tartar from the teeth at and slightly below the gumline and Root Planing, which smoothes root surfaces. Antibiotics, bite correction and splinting are other nonsurgical treatment options for periodontal disease.

PERIODONTAL TREATMENT: SURGICAL OPTIONS

Surgical treatment is used for advanced infections and for pockets too deep to reach by scaling and root planning alone. Your doctor opens your gums to clean the pockets. He or she then repositions your gums. This makes them easier to keep clean during home care and follow-up visits. To achieve this goal the gumline often must be lowered. This exposes more tooth.

Surgical procedures include the following:

Gingivectomy
This procedure removes an overgrowth of gum tissue. This reduces the space where bacteria can collect. It should then be easier for you to keep teeth and gums clean. You will also have a less “gummy” smile.

Flap Surgery
The gum is gently separated from the tooth, creating a “flap” and access to the infected pocket. Deep deposits of plaque and tartar can then be removed. It also reduces the pocket and the areas where bacteria can grow. Little or no gum tissue is removed.

Bone (Osseous) Surgery
This procedure is used to smooth shallow craters in the bone due to mild or moderate bone loss. First, flap surgery is done to reach the damaged bone. Then your doctor reshapes the bone around the tooth to decrease the craters. This makes it harder for bacteria to collect and grow.

Guided Tissue Regeneration
This helps keep unwanted gum tissue away from the tooth and bone. Ligament fibers can then regrow and bone can reform to better support the tooth.

Bone Graft
Tiny fragments of your own bone, synthetic bone, or bone from a gone bank are placed where bone was lost. These grafts serve as a platform for the regrowth of bone. This restores stability to your teeth.

Soft Tissue Graft
Soft tissue is added to reinforce thin gums or to fill in places where gums have receded. Grafted tissue, most often taken from the roof of your mouth, is stitched in place over the affected area.