Periodontists are the dental specialists responsible for treating gum disease, aesthetic concerns regarding gums and bone, and replace missing teeth with dental implants.
They can perform surgical and non-surgical procedures.
What is Gum Disease
Gum disease also called “periodontal disease”, is a set of inflammatory conditions affecting the gums and bone surrounding the teeth. This affection is the leading cause of tooth and bone loss.
What Is The Main Cause Of Gum Disease?
In most cases, gum disease is caused by dental plaque, which is a biofilm or mass composed mainly of bacteria that grows on surfaces within the oral cavity.
Insufficient oral hygiene
Brushing and flossing help get rid of plaque. When dental plaque is not removed, it can harden and form “calculus” that brushing doesn’t clean. Insufficient oral hygiene causes gum inflammation, which will eventually transform into gum disease if not treated on time.
If left untreated, gum disease will eventually develop pockets filled with bacteria between gums and teeth (plaque and calculus).
Risk factors for gum disease:
- Poor oral hygiene
- Hormonal changes
- Teeth grinding
- Illnesses that decrease the immune system.
When Is Advanced Gum Disease Treatment Required?
- Permanent bad breath
- Red and swollen gums
- Tender or bleeding gums
- Tooth sensitivity
- Receding bone and gums, making your teeth look longer than normal
- Loose teeth
- The pocket formation between gum and teeth (pus may be present)
- New spaces developing between your teeth
What Are The Advanced Gum Treatment Available for Gum Disease?
Your dentist will provide the right diagnosis and a treatment plan that is adequate for your case in particular. A family dentist or dental hygienist can help in treatment of gum disease at an early stage.
But, if the condition is too advanced, it may be better for the dentist or hygienist to refer treatment to the periodontist for different treatment methods like periodontal surgery. Although oral problems complex and needs careful treatment, they are not merely subject to dentist’s treatment only.
There are several natural gum treatments that can be taken at home. Taking a few steps at home can either prevent or suppress the tooth ailment. Quick treatments like:
- Salt Water Floss: Rinsing or gargling with a luke warm water can give some relief if there is an ache. It can also reduce the gum swelling causing pain.
- Treat it with Tea Bags: Many flavored tea and contain tannins. Consuming tea of that rich in tannins can suppress gum pain and suppress bad breath as well.
- Treat your teeth with Herbals: Herbs has been a life savior since ancient era. People were dependent on herbal treatments when there were no doctors. Natural herbs like cloves and turmeric are antibiotic and can be helpful in treating painful gums. It can either be kept as on the affected region or can be used in form of paste on affected tooth for a relief.
Cost involved in treatment of gums can be little expensive and requires time for dentistry sittings. There is always an option for us to get it done at home. If the ache is mild and manageable, home remedies are always helpful in quick heal and better treatment of gums.
With technology and advancement, dentistry treatments takes no time and have now become painless. Let us take you through several ways on how non-surgical gum treatments are done.
Non-surgical procedures For Advanced Gum Treatment:
- Deep cleaning: The first treatment option for gum disease is a careful, in-depth cleaning. The dentist can do additional procedures of deep scaling and root planning. That is when the dentist smooths the rough surfaces of your teeth roots, helping the gums reattach to the tooth.
- Medication: Your dentist may prescribe medication as part of your treatment, he/she may also recommend the use of a medicated mouth wash for oral hygiene at home.
- Scaling and root planning: Dental scaling and root planning, also known as deep cleaning, are procedures that help treat gum disease. They are more intense than a typical dental cleaning.
Your dentist will recommend teeth scaling and root planning if your mouth has signs of advanced gum disease and deep pockets of 4 millimeters or more.
Dental scaling and root planning play an essential role in advanced gum treatment because:
- Help get rid of plaque: Scaling and root planning can get rid of most plaque, reducing gum inflammation and gum disease.
- Prevent further damage: When gum disease progresses, it can be hazardous because bacteria can enter your bloodstream.
- Lessens the severity of surgery: When gum disease is too severe, periodontal surgery may be necessary, but scaling and root planning reduce the invasion of the surgery.
Surgical Procedures for Advanced Gum Treatment:
- Pocket reduction surgery: During this procedure, your periodontist will fold back the gum tissue and will remove dental plaque and bacteria before securing the tissue into place. The dentist may use a dental laser to access and remove the inflamed gum tissue from around the tooth’s root, before scaling begins.
- Gum graft surgery: Gum recession results in exposed tooth roots. Gum graft surgery can cover roots or develop gum tissue in excessive gingival recessions. This technique protects roots from decay, reduce tooth sensitivity, and improve aesthetics in your mouth.
- Dental crown lengthening: During dental crown lengthening, excess bone and gum tissue is removed or reshaped to expose more of the natural tooth.
- Periodontal plastic surgery: Surgical procedures used to prevent or correct defects on gums or bone. For example, Lip reposition, which its main objective is to treat a gummy smile.
- Bone grafting: Bone graft helps prevent tooth loss by holding your tooth in place. The material also helps with natural bone regrowth.
- Dental implants: The procedure in which an artificial titanium-based dental root is placed into your jaw bone to hold a definite crown, bridge, or denture.
- Guided tissue and bone regeneration: Are surgical procedures that provide bone and gingival tissue growth at sites with insufficient volumes or dimensions.
Advantages Of An Advanced Gum Treatment
- Improves the aesthetics and function of gums and teeth
- Reduces the risk of tooth loss
- Reduces tooth mobility
- Reduces bleeding
- Facilitates the control of halitosis (bad breath)
- Advanced gum treatment decreases the risk of cardiovascular diseases.
Procedure For Advanced Gum Treatment
Phase 1: Diagnosis and treatment plan
Before your treatment, the dental professional will perform a full evaluation of your teeth and gum’s health.
To determine a diagnosis and treatment plan, your dentist may:
- Review your medical and dental history
- Examine your mouth
- Take dental X-rays
- Measure periodontal pockets depth: The dentist will place a periodontal probe in the sulcus between your gums and teeth. In a healthy mouth, the pocket depth is usually 1-3 mm. Pockets deeper than 4 mm may indicate an underlying periodontal problem.
Phase 2: Elimination of gum disease.
It is a non-surgical phase. Its objective is to eliminate infection and treat the progression of the disease. The dental professional will perform scaling and root planing when pockets are greater than 3 mm.
Phase 3: Periodontal surgery
- Pocket reduction surgery
- Periodontal plastic surgery
- Esthetic surgery
- Pre-prosthetic techniques
- Implant placement and guided bone regeneration
Phase 4: Restorative
Phase 4 involves the restorative treatment of the patient in which the dentist may place final restorations if needed.
Phase 5: Maintenance
The dental professional will perform a reevaluation of probing pocket depth, scaling, plaque control record & oral hygiene instructions.
Postoperative Instructions For treatment of gum disease:
- Maintain good oral hygiene immediately after the procedure
- Brush your teeth three times a day
- Floss every day. If possible, after every meal consumption.
- Maintain a healthy eating lifestyle
- Visit your dentist for regular follow-up appointments.
Post-Treatment Care For treatment of Gum Disease
- Good oral hygiene
- Brush your teeth three times a day.
- Flossing regularly at least once a day
- Use mouthwash three times a day after each meal. Ingredients of antimicrobial agents vary but can include; chlorhexidine 0.05%, chlorine dioxide, and zinc chloride.
- Visit your dentist or dental professional regularly twice a year. If you have risk factors that increase your chances of developing gum disease, you may need professional examinations more often.
- Avoid tobacco
- Use a night splint if teeth grinding is a risk factor.
Oral health might contribute to various medical conditions, viruses, and diseases, including:
It is imperative to take care of teeth and gums and one should never neglect gum disease treatment. Failing which can be difficult and can cause many other diseases such as:
- Cardiovascular disease: Some researchers have encountered a relation between heart disease, stroke, and clogged arteries to the inflammation and infections gum disease bacteria can cause.
- Pneumonia: Bacteria from your oral cavity can be pulled or travel to your lungs, causing lung infections like pneumonia and respiratory conditions.
- Endocarditis: It is an infection that generally occurs when bacteria, fungi, or other germs from another part of your body, such as your mouth, spread through the bloodstream to the inner lining of your heart chambers and heart valves.
- Pregnancy: Gum disease is linked to pre-term birth, low birth weight, and preeclampsia.
- Diabetes: People with diabetes are more prone to infection and severe gum disease because there’s a reduction in the body’s resistance to infections. Researches have demonstrated that people who have gum disease find it harder to control blood sugar levels. Diabetic patients need to see the dental professional more frequently; regular cleanings can improve diabetes control.
- HIV/AIDS: Painful mucosal lesions generally appear in patients who have HIV/AIDS.
- Osteoporosis: This condition is related to periodontal bone loss and tooth loss. Certain medications used to treat osteoporosis carry a small risk of necrosis of jaw bone. It is important to inform your dentist about the drugs you take because some dental procedures or medications may interact with these.
- Atherosclerosis: Gum disease and atherosclerosis are generally linked. With the treatment for gum disease, both periodontal and systemic inflammation decreases.
- Alzheimer’s disease: Dental hygiene is difficult in patients with Alzheimer’s disease.
Do’s And Don’ts for Advanced Gum Treatment
- Do maintain good oral hygiene
- Do use a special mouthwash every day
- Do wear a protective mouthguard if you clench or grind your teeth
- Do go to the dentist for a regular checkup every six months.
- Don’t smoke tobacco
- Don’t bite or chew on hard objects like ice, pencils, etc.
- Don’t drink alcohol.
Myths About Advanced Gum Treatment
1: It is not necessary to visit the dentist
Myth. Be sure to see the dental professional at least twice a year for regular checkups. If you have risk factors that increase the chances of developing gum disease, you may need professional examinations more often. Also, it is necessary to tell your dentist if you are under the care of a physician and provide the names and locations of your other healthcare providers so that your dentist can contact them for further information.
Early intervention is essential as soon as you see the first signs of gum swelling or bleeding.
Tell your dentist about medications you take or changes in your overall health, especially any systemic disease or illness.
2: Periodontal treatments can wear my teeth down
Professional cleaning and gum disease treatment do not harm or damage the dental structure. Periodontal treatments and maintenance are essential for the patient with gum disease. It is necessary to remove the deposits of bacterial plaque and calculus with regularity to prevent relapse and progression of the disease. This treatment does not have repercussions or causes tooth wear.
3: Periodontal treatment is useless because I am going to lose my teeth just like my parents
Periodontal disease causes bone and tissue loss around the teeth. While it is true that, without proper care, teeth begin to move, and tooth loss happens. It is essential to know that gum treatment is highly effective, predictable, and reliable, maintaining teeth in most cases.
4: Digestive problems cause Halitosis.
Halitosis, or bad breath, originates 85-90% of the time in the oral cavity. The foul smell comes from the effect of anaerobic bacteria in the mouth, capable of degrading food products. Poor oral hygiene, gum disease, the accumulation of bacteria, and food remains are, among others, risk factors for causing halitosis.
5: Periodic dental cleanings replace periodontal treatment.
Periodontal treatment is an individualized medical treatment related to the situation of each patient at a specific time. The periodontist will establish the most suitable protocol, will supervise the evolution and the particular needs.
Not only is the removal of plaque and dental calculus deposits necessary, but also the control of the disease, thus detecting the presence of inflammation, bleeding, and progression. Once the pathology has stabilized, the dental professional will define maintenance controls for each case, depending on a series of individual factors such as:
- The degree of gum disease
- Associated risk factors
- The effectiveness of oral hygiene habits
Frequently Asked Questions
What complications can gum disease cause?
Bacteria can enter your bloodstream through the gum tissue and may affect other parts of your body, including respiratory problems, stroke, and coronary artery disease. Also, if it is present during pregnancy, there is a higher risk of preterm birth and preeclampsia.
How does gum disease affect overall health?
The state of your teeth and oral tissue affects your overall health. The body’s natural defenses and excellent hygiene control, such as daily brushing and flossing, can prevent gum disease and improve overall health.
However, if the patient does not have proper oral hygiene, the presence of bacteria might lead to oral problems, such as tooth decay and gum disease.
Researchers have linked oral health problems such as gum disease to an increased risk of health conditions.
What general conditions may be associated with oral health?
The link between oral disease and overall health is the fact that bacteria are responsible for gum disease. Bacteria can enter your bloodstream through the gum tissue and may affect other parts of your body, where it can start new infections, trigger or exacerbate the general inflammatory response.
It is essential to be aware that any infection in the mouth is as severe and important as an infection in the body. A comprehensive gum treatment is required to cater the overall oral problems.
Is there any special preparation required before gum treatment?
Although the dentist performs most of the procedures at his clinic only, the heal time depends on the pain bearing capacity of the patient. The healt time varies from patient to patient. The dentist firstly gives anesthesia to numb the area that that needs to be treated. After that, if required, special medication is given for relaxation. As the dentists already have machineries that are required to treat teeth, there is not much preparation required to for the treatment. Dentists then before every treatment ask the patient to do a thorough floss and then sit for the treatment.
Is gum treatment necessary?
It depends on the severity of the conditions and tooth pain. If the pain is bearable, and if the preliminary treatment can be done at home to suppress the pain, then there is no point in going to the dentist and spend money. Taking preliminary precautions at home for an affected tooth saves time and money. But in case the pain is unbearable and prolonged and requires special medical attention, then one should never delay. Professional dental treatment is highly recommended if the pain is prolonged.
How can I heal my gums?
Gum pain is annoying and can happen due to many reasons. One of possible reason of gums pain is cavity. In women, it can be due to pregnancy or menopause. Teeth ailment varies from patient to patient, so do the treatment. Depending on the severity and amount of pain, healing treatment varies. If the gums are swollen up and is on the initial level, then salt water floss can be of great help. Other home remedy can be damp cloth. Soak a cotton cloth in warm water, damp a cloth and squeeze out excess water from the cloth. Once done, keep the piece of cloth on the face/skin around the affected region. Avoid keeping damp cloth directly on the gums, as it might hurt it and result to pain.