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Periodontal Surgical Treatment Options
Gum disease is far more serious than most people give it credit for. This inflammatory condition may be mild in its earliest stages, with symptoms that are easily overlooked. However, as it progresses, it can cause severe pain and lead to irreversible damage to your teeth, gums and jawbone. It can even potentially impact on your overall health. This is because severe gum disease has been cited as a contributor to chronic health problems including heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, cancer and stroke. Therefore, when you are diagnosed with advanced gum disease, you could be at greater risk of developing these issues.
If you have been diagnosed with moderate to severe gum disease, there is a very good chance that you will be recommended to undergo periodontal surgery, which is carried out in order to treat gum disease and, in some cases, repair damage that has occurred as a result.
What is gum disease and what causes it?
Gum disease is an inflammatory condition that is caused by the spread of plaque – a bacteria-filled sticky substance that accumulates on the enamel of our teeth – onto the gum tissue. The bacteria found in plaque irritates the gum tissues, causing inflammation, bleeding and a progressively worsening infection. Eventually, gum disease can cause a variety of problems including:
Severe dental pain
Gum recession (where the gums pull away from the teeth)
When you clean your teeth properly multiple times each day, you remove the vast majority of the plaque on your teeth, keeping gum disease at bay. However, it is when this routine slips that plaque can build up and enable gum disease to occur.
What happens during periodontal surgery?
Exactly what will happen during your periodontal surgery will depend on the extent to which you have been affected, and what our dental team believes is the best course of action to keep your teeth and gums as healthy as possible. The aims of periodontal surgery are:
To eliminate bacteria and infection
To prevent tooth loss
To reduce any periodontal pockets (gaps between the teeth and gums)
Encourage the growth of new, healthy gum tissue and bone
Some of the periodontal surgical treatment options that you may be given could include:
Periodontal pocket cleaning
Periodontal pockets are the pockets that open up between the teeth and gums when a patient doesn’t clean their teeth properly. These channels are ideal for trapping bacteria and food debris, causing your gum disease to worsen. During this procedure, we will lift the gums away from the teeth in order to remove any debris and bacteria. We can also remove any tartar, which is hardened plaque, which extended below the gum line.
Guided tissue regeneration
This surgical procedure involves using small, mesh-like pieces of material between your bone and gum tissue to prevent gums from growing into space where bone should be, enabling the bone and connective tissue to regrow.
Sometimes known as gum recession treatment, this surgery is used to treat gum tissue that has pulled away from the base of teeth, putting them at risk of coming loose. A graft involves taking tissue from another part of your body, in this case usually the roof of the mouth, before it is reattached to the area where the gum has receded. This covers any exposed roots, protecting them, as well as encouraging healthy gum tissue growth.
Similar to tissue grafting, bone grafting is used where the gum disease has caused damage to the bone in your jaw. The process involves taking healthy bone from another part of your body and grafting it onto the area of your jaw where it is needed. In some cases, the artificial bone may be used instead. Bone grafting is often recommended for patients who are lacking in the healthy jawbone and are interested in replacing missing teeth using dental implants.
These represent just some of the periodontal surgery options that are available to you. All are performed using an anesthetic to ensure that you aren’t in any pain during the procedure, and you will be given specific instructions for caring for your teeth and mouth after.
If you would like to find out more about periodontal surgical treatment options, our team are on hand to help. Contact our dental offices in Sherman, TX today to schedule your confidential consultation.