Gum disease starts slowly, with symptoms you may not give much thought to. Eventually, the redness and swelling in your gums can lead to bleeding, gum recession, and bad breath. Left untreated, gum disease can cause tooth and bone loss, so it’s important to seek treatment while it’s in its earliest stages and still reversible.
Scaling and Root Planing
Once you’ve been diagnosed with gum disease, or periodontitis, your dentist will determine the best course of treatment for you. Scaling and root planing is the first line of defense against gum disease, which makes it the most frequently recommended treatment option. It’s a non-surgical procedure that can be performed right in our office with local anesthesia.
A dental instrument called a scaler is used to remove plaque and calculus from below the gum line, where it collects and causes damage. The tooth's root is then planed, or smoothed. This encourages the gums to heal and reattach to the tooth, closing the deep periodontal pockets that harbor bacteria.
Scaling and root planing is a simple but highly efficient treatment for gum disease. When used early in the course of periodontitis, it has the potential to reverse the disease before any permanent damage has occurred.
Pocket Reduction Surgery
Gum disease can sometimes require surgical treatment. Pocket reduction is one of the most common. It involves surgically closing the deep pockets around the teeth where bacteria collect and attack the bone and tissue.
Pocket reduction surgery starts by folding back the gum tissue and cleaning the plaque and tartar from below the gumline. In some cases, the roots of the teeth may be smoothed, which makes it harder for bacteria to collect. After the pockets are cleaned, your dentist will close them. By removing the infection-causing bacteria and then closing the pockets to prevent new disease from forming, gum disease can be effectively treated.
You'll also need to take steps to maintain your long-term periodontal health once your gum disease has been treated. Based on the severity of your gum disease and how quickly calculus forms on your teeth, we'll create a personalized periodontal maintenance program for you. This maintenance program involves both at-home care and regular visits to our office for oral examinations and cleanings.
Other Periodontal Procedures for Gum Disease
The best case scenario is that we can treat gum disease before it causes lasting damage to your teeth and gums, but if your gum disease is advanced, you may experience gum recession, tooth loss, or jawbone loss as a result. We offer a variety of treatment options to address these concerns and restore your smile's health and appearance.
Gum grafting can be used to replace lost gum tissue caused by gum recession. Dental implants are the best solution for replacing teeth that have been lost due to gum disease. Bone regeneration, bone grafting, and ridge preservation are all procedures that help to restore the jawbone after periodontal disease or tooth loss.