Gum problems are usually not given much attention, especially in the initial stages. Take yourself as an example; would you feel like visiting your dentist just because of having swollen or inflamed gums? You would probably prefer taking over-the-counter pain killers until your gums stop responding to these medicines anymore. This is the time when your gum disease has reached to an advance level and demands professional assistance.
We all are aware of the normal oral hygiene practices; what most of us don’t know is that professional cleaning is also part of routine dental care, as some diseases cannot be prevented by regular brushing and flossing. Periodontitis is one such type of disease that requires dental treatment even at the initial stages. Accurate diagnosis determines how to treat periodontitis along with post operative care. It depends upon you, whether you go for non surgical treatments or advance dental surgeries.
Scaling is a cleaning procedure which removes the plaque and tartar with the help of an ultrasonic dental instrument. Scaling is also recommended by dentists as part of routine oral hygiene. It keeps your teeth and gums free of gingival bacteria that further become the cause of periodontitis.
This is another type of non surgical treatment that removes the plaque from the roots of your teeth. Root planning is beneficial, in case the tartar crosses the gum line and causes inflamed and swollen gums. In such cases, antibiotics are given to soothe the swelling and then treatment is performed.
If you are suffering from advance periodontitis, then scaling and root planning will not be able to clean the pockets of bacteria thoroughly. This stage of periodontal disease requires surgical treatment from a professional periodontist.
Soft Tissue Grafts
The soft tissue graft surgery is performed to replace the damaged tissue which is caused by the receding of the gum line. It follows the same procedure as done in plastic surgeries. A small part of the unaffected tissue, mostly from the roof of your mouth, will be removed and pasted on the affected part. In case of severe disease, when the entire mouth is affected, this surgery can be executed with the help of a donor’s tissue.
Flap surgery, also known as pocket reduction surgery, is a pre operative step for deep scaling or root planning. Flap surgery is performed to lift the gum line and make the roots more accessible to the cleaning tools. The affected bone is then recontoured and the lifted tissue is fixed back into place.
Bone grafting is an advance surgical treatment that is performed in case of chronic periodontitis. It replaces the damaged bone with the unaffected parts of the same bone. If the entire bone is diseased, then synthetic bones are used to keep the tooth in place. Bone grafting is a part of the guided tissue regeneration process, which is done to stimulate the re-growth of natural bone. A small piece of biocompatible synthetic bone is placed between the falling tooth and the damaged bone. This prevents that area of the mouth from bacteria and infection, and allows the bone to grow back.
Don’t you find all these surgeries frightening and scary? Save yourself from such mental and physical tortures, keep yourselves aware of all the symptoms and visit your dentist as soon as you start feeling one of them!
Kevin Kerfoot writes about health, nutrition, oral hygiene and skin care for Trusted Health Products’ natural health blog and newsletter.