What is Gum Disease?
Gum disease, also known as either gingivitis or periodontal disease, is an infection of the gums which can damage the soft tissues around your teeth, as well as your jawbone.
Symptoms may or may not occur. Common symptoms of gum disease include swollen or red gums, blood when brushing your teeth, receding gums, painful gums, or bad breath that won't go away.
How to Treat Gum Disease
There are a number of different treatments for gum disease. Proper treatment depends on how advanced it is. For example, in the early stages, deep cleaning is sufficient. However, in later stages, surgical intervention may be necessary to preserve or replace components of your oral structure. You can receive periodontal therapy with us at Aesthetic Dentistry of Bend here in Bend, OR.
Non Surgical Types of Treatment
The most basic part of periodontal disease treatment is your own oral hygiene routine. We can instruct you on the components of this. At its most basic, this includes brushing your teeth two times every day and flossing them at least one time a day. Some people also like to use mouthwash.
There are three main components of non-surgical gum disease treatment. The first is a round of antibiotics to get the infection under control. These can be prescribed on its own or in addition to other treatments.
The second component is a deep cleaning procedure which involves scaling and root planing. Scaling is also a component of routine dental cleanings, though it is performed at a deeper level for patients with gum disease. Our periodontist uses a dental scaler to scrape substances like plaque and tartar off of your teeth. This reaches underneath the gum line as well. Root planing is performed after scaling. This gives your tooth roots a smoother texture to help them adhere to your gums. Scaling and root planing remove already existing bacteria and prevent future infections.
Surgical Types of Treatment
There are several different kinds of surgical gum disease treatment, depending on what specifically we need to treat. One type of surgery is called flap surgery or pocket reduction surgery. Here, our periodontist cuts into the gum tissue and raises it to expose your tooth roots. This lets us perform scaling and root planing at an even deeper level.
For patients who have experienced tissue loss, a graft is a surgical option. Soft tissue grafts can be sourced from the roof of your mouth or another soft tissue donor site. The graft is placed onto the recessed gum or soft tissue. Within a couple of weeks, the soft tissue is able to regenerate in both sites back to its normal, healthy state.
Bone grafts can be sourced from your own body, a cadaver, animal, or synthetic material. These are placed along with a mesh to protect the empty space from soft-tissue growth. Without this mesh or biocompatible fabric, your body would regenerate soft tissue rather than bone tissue. Over a few months, bone can fuse with the graft and, in some cases, regenerate as well.
For either type of tissue loss, tissue-stimulating proteins are another option. These are incorporated into a gel which we can apply directly to the affected area. These proteins are the same ones found in tooth enamel and other parts of your anatomy. This procedure helps your body to reform its lost structure stronger than it could on its own.
Can I Prevent Periodontal Disease?
Treatment for gum disease can help prevent plaque from causing more swelling and inflammation at the gumline. However, this is only a temporary preventive measure - it is always better to have good oral hygiene and routine dental cleanings. Be sure to brush regularly and see us for routine dental cleanings to help keep your teeth and gums healthy.
Why Choose Periodontal Therapy in Bend OR?
If you want to know more about the options we offer to prevent and treat gum disease and how they can help you, then call (541) 389-0261 and schedule a consultation with Aesthetic Dentistry of Bend.