Treatment Options for Periodontal Disease
Gum disease, or periodontitis, is an inflammation of the soft tissue and bone that surrounds the teeth. It is caused by an excessive amount of bacteria invading the teeth and gum tissue. If not treated, gum disease can lead to loss of bone structure supporting the teeth, which can, in turn, lead to tooth loss.
Gum disease is an extremely common oral health problem. Some people are afflicted with it only infrequently, but for others it is a chronic condition. Those with diabetes are especially prone to chronic periodontitis.
Gum disease treatment options include deep cleanings, surgical procedures and medications. Here is a look at some of the treatments available.
• Deep cleaning, or scaling and root planing, is a dental cleaning that removes plaque and tartar from above and below the gumline. It goes further below the gumline than an ordinary dental cleaning, and, thus, typically requires a local anesthetic.
• Flap surgery involves lifting the gums back to remove the tartar and then sowing them back into place.
• Curettage involves scraping away infected gum tissue so that the remaining healthy tissue can heal.
• Soft tissue grafts involve taking soft tissue from other areas of the mouth and attaching it to areas of the gums that are thin or have receded.
• Bone grafts involve placing tiny fragments of real or synthetic bone in areas where bone loss has occurred, promoting the growth of new bone.
• Medications can be used alone or in combination with other treatments. Antibiotics are used to eliminate harmful bacteria. Alendronate is a gel applied to the gum pockets, and has been shown to reduce pocket depth and improve the condition of gums and bone.
To learn more about gum disease or available treatments, contact our office to set up a consultation.
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