Gum Disease Treatment
When gum disease first starts, you most likely might not even notice that you have it. Plaque and bacteria that have accumulated on your teeth lead to gum irritation and inflammation. You may notice some redness and swelling, as well as bleeding when you brush and floss, or you might never see these symptoms. When this early stage goes untreated, swollen gums start to pull away from the surfaces of your teeth, leading to the formation of periodontal pockets. Bacteria fall into these pockets, where they begin attacking your gums from the inside as well as the ligaments and bone that support your teeth. The longer gum disease goes untreated, the worse it becomes, leading to gum recession, loose teeth, and even tooth loss. Fortunately, gum disease can be treated. OHIOSmiles can help.
A prophylaxis is a type of cleaning that you receive during your routine dental cleanings. The process involves ultrasonic vibrations on the surfaces of your teeth. We also clean along the gumline as well as just below it. These types of cleanings are done to eliminate plaque and bacteria as well as tartar, or hardened plaque that cannot be removed with regular brushing, and other debris. One or two prophylaxis cleanings may be recommended in the earliest stage of gum disease more commonly known as gingivitis.
Scaling and root planing is a deep cleaning of your teeth. Scaling is the cleaning of the visible surfaces of your teeth. Using a scaler, we eliminate all buildup from the fronts, backs, and chewing surfaces of your teeth, with special attention given to the gumline and just below it. Root planing is the cleaning of your tooth roots. By eliminating plaque and bacteria, the surfaces are smoothed, preventing new bacteria from adhering.
An antibiotic rinse is often used after scaling and root planing. This is done to help get rid of any bacteria that might still be lurking below the gumline. In some cases, an oral antibiotic or antibiotic mouthwash may be recommended. Antibiotics are not used as a standalone treatment, but they can be quite effective when used in conjunction with other treatments and improved oral hygiene practices.
Pocket Reduction Surgery
If your periodontal pockets are too deep to effectively clean with scaling and root planing, surgery may be recommended. One type of procedure that may be suggested is pocket reduction surgery. Small incisions are made in the gums to expose the entire surface of the teeth, including the roots. We are then able to effectively clean them before suturing the gums snugly against your teeth. The tissue can begin reattaching to the teeth, reducing the depths of the periodontal pockets and making your oral health easier to maintain.
Bacteria below the gumline can also affect the health of your jawbone. The bacteria attack the bone, causing a loss of bone mass. Bone loss around the roots of the teeth is often referred to as bony defects. These defects provide hiding places for bacteria. Osseous surgery is performed to not only clean all surfaces of your teeth and the surrounding bone but also to smooth the bony defects. By smoothing the bone, we eliminate hiding places for bacteria. After the surgery is complete, your gums can begin reattaching to the bone and the teeth, restoring your oral health.
Gum disease can lead to gum recession as well as bone loss. Gum recession not only affects your smile, but it can also increase your risk for tooth decay and lead to tooth sensitivity. A gum, or soft tissue graft is performed to restore a healthy, beautiful gumline. Tissue harvested from another area of your mouth, typically the palate is sutured over the affected teeth. The tissues fuse together and form a tight, protective seal around your teeth.
Bone loss weakens your jaw, which can cause the bone to begin changing shape. A bone graft is performed to restore missing bone mass. We take bone from another area of your body, or from a donor, and place it in the weak areas of your jaw. Bone grafts are commonly done to restore missing bone mass before the placement of dental implants.
Treating gum disease is essential for stopping the progression of the condition in its tracks and restoring the health of your mouth. Call OHIOSmiles at (740) 781-0540 today to schedule your appointment.