How Is Gum Disease Treated?
Gum disease is an infection of the gums and, in later stages, the surrounding bone tissue as well. Depending on how advanced your condition is, you may need surgical treatment to clear out the bacteria and repair any tissue damage. Fortunately, treatment is quite simple if you start early and it does not always require surgical intervention. At Glen Perio, we have many types of periodontitis treatment available.
Before beginning any professional treatment, we will counsel you on proper oral hygiene methods to follow at home. This includes brushing and flossing daily as well as using a mouth rinse. In addition, we will also talk to you about how nutrition and substance use can affect your oral health.
Non-surgical treatment for gum disease generally involves three steps: scaling, root planing, and antibiotics. Scaling is actually a procedure completed during routine cleanings. The only difference here is that it is a bit more invasive when the patient has periodontitis. Scaling involves the use of a dental scaler, a pointed metal instrument, to scrape plaque and tartar away from the teeth and gumline. Root planing is a process which encourages your teeth to reattach to the gums. In root planing, the root surfaces are smoothed out to give your gums a good base for reattachment. This also prevents the build-up of more bacteria. Antibiotics are typically prescribed in addition to this treatment as a way to fight the infection and alleviate symptoms. We may also recommend pain medication or other at-home treatments for pain and swelling.
Surgical Treatment Options
Surgical treatments for gum disease are a bit more complicated. One option is flap surgery, also called pocket reduction surgery. During this procedure, our periodontist makes an incision into your gum and lifts the tissue back to expose the roots. This allows for deeper scaling and root planing as well as tissue reshaping if there is extensive damage from the infection.
To replace lost tissue, we also provide both soft tissue and bone grafts. Soft tissue grafts come from the roof of your mouth or a similar donor source. These are attached to the affected site where, over time, they fuse with the gums. Bone grafts are used when the bone around the tooth root has been damaged or destroyed. These grafts come from a donor site on your body, another donor, or they may also be made of synthetic bone tissue. These are placed in the damaged area to help promote the regrowth of natural bone tissue. They also provide structure to prevent teeth shifting and tissue sinking.
In addition to grafts, we have several tissue regeneration procedures available. Guided tissue regeneration involves biocompatible fabric which is placed between remaining bone tissue and your tooth. The material acts as a barrier to prevent other tissue from forming in this area, so that natural bone can grow back instead. We can also use tissue-stimulating proteins which are administered in gel form. The proteins contained in the gel are found in natural tooth enamel and they stimulate bone and tissue growth. To schedule gum disease treatment, call Glen Perio at 224-488-3392 today.