Gum disease is the top cause of tooth loss. Early detection and personalized treatment options will keep your mouth healthy.
Periodontal disease is most often preceded by gingivitis which is a bacterial
infection of the gum tissue. A bacterial infection affects the gums when the
toxins contained in plaque begin to irritate and inflame the gum tissues.
Once this bacterial infection colonizes in the gum pockets between the teeth,
it becomes much more difficult to remove and treat. Periodontal disease is a
progressive condition that eventually leads to the destruction of the
connective tissue and jawbone. If left untreated, it can cause shifting teeth,
loose teeth, and eventually tooth loss.
Periodontal disease is the leading cause of tooth loss among adults in the
developed world and should always be promptly treated.
There are many surgical and nonsurgical treatments the periodontist may
choose to perform, depending upon the exact condition of the teeth, gums
and jawbone. A complete periodontal exam of the mouth will be done before
any treatment is performed or recommended.
Here are some of the more common treatments for periodontal disease:
Scaling and root planing – In order to preserve the health of the gum
tissue, the bacteria and calculus (tartar) which initially caused the
infection, must be removed. The gum pockets will be cleaned and
treated with antibiotics as necessary to help alleviate the infection. A
prescription mouthwash may be incorporated into daily cleaning
Tissue regeneration – When the bone and gum tissues have been
destroyed, regrowth can be actively encouraged using grafting
procedures. A membrane may be inserted into the affected areas to
assist in the regeneration process.
Pocket elimination surgery – Pocket elimination surgery (also known
as flap surgery) is a surgical treatment which can be performed to
reduce the pocket size between the teeth and gums. Surgery on the
jawbone is another option which serves to eliminate indentations in the
bone which foster the colonization of bacteria.
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