Gum disease is a chronic infection that is most often caused by the build-up of dental plaque. It rarely shows symptoms before it is well advanced and it is an infection that can wreak havoc on your teeth and overall health. Gum disease can range in severity from mild to severe. As with many oral conditions, the best way to help prevent gum disease is early detection from a dental professional.
Signs and symptoms of gum disease include:
Bad breath that won’t go away
Red or swollen gums
Tender or bleeding gums
Receding gums or teeth with a long appearance
Treatments that will help manage Gum Disease Include:
Deep Cleaning (Scaling and Root Planing): Our dental hygienists remove the plaque & tarter through a deep-cleaning method called scaling and root planing. Scaling means scraping off the tartar from above and below the gum line. Root planing gets rid of rough spots on the tooth root where the germs gather, and helps remove bacteria that contribute to the disease.
Gum Surgery: Also known as “flap surgery”, might be necessary if inflammation and deep pockets remain following deep cleaning treatments. Flap surgery removes tartar deposits in deep pockets, reduces the periodontal pocket and makes it easier for the patient, dentist, and hygienist to keep the area clean. This common surgery involves lifting back the gums and removing the tartar. The gums are then sutured back in place so that the tissue fits snugly around the tooth again. After surgery the gums will heal and fit more tightly around the tooth which sometimes results in the teeth appearing longer.
Bone and Gum Grafts: In addition to flap surgery, other procedures may be recommended to help regenerate any bone or gum tissue that was lost to gum disease or periodontitis. Bone grafting, in which natural or synthetic bone is placed in the area of bone loss, can help promote bone growth. In cases where gum tissue has been lost, a soft tissue graft may be suggested, in which synthetic material or tissue taken from another area of your mouth is used to cover exposed tooth roots.