How Is Gum Disease Treated?
Treating gum disease has a lot to do with the degree to which the disease has progressed and bacteria have expanded throughout the mouth. Fortunately, modern treatments make eradicating gum disease faster and easier than ever before. Florida Smiles Dental uses a combination of different gum disease treatment methods designed for optimal efficacy.
Maintaining Oral Hygiene
The first and best way to treat gum disease always starts with improving and maintaining your oral hygiene. In the case of gingivitis, a mild disease that often precedes gum disease, it can usually be treated at home with nothing more than good brushing and flossing habits. By the time gingivitis has progressed to gum disease, a professional cleaning will likely be required so that we can get rid of the bacteria hiding in places that normal brushing cannot reach.
Scaling and Root Planing
While oral hygiene is the first line of defense against gum disease, sometimes it is not enough. We treat moderate gum disease using scaling and root planing, also known as a deep cleaning. Unlike normal cleanings, scaling and root planing will often require two visits to our office, one for the left and right sides of the mouth. Though non-invasive, we do clean out bacteria from beneath the gumline, so you will be administered a local anesthetic to keep you comfortable. Scaling first eliminates tartar and plaque, and then root planing will turn coarse surfaces flat so that bacteria have nowhere to find purchase and grow.
Bone and Gum Grafts
Advanced gum disease can cause major damage not just to your gums, but to the rest of your mouth and its structures, including the bones. Bone loss, or resorption, is serious - it will cause your face to sag and look older, your teeth will loosen in your jaw, and it will complicate future dental treatments. Bone grafts can fix this by taking a sample of bone, either from your own body or another source such as an animal or lab-grown bone and using it to help stimulate the growth of new bone. This same technique can be done with soft tissues like your gums. In addition to improving your overall oral health, these grafts can help prevent tooth loss from gum disease.
Pocket Reduction Surgery
While we prefer non-invasive methods of treating gum disease, if tartar has reached the inner soft tissues of the gums and created pockets, then surgery may be necessary. In these cases, pocket reduction surgery is often the treatment of choice. You will be given an anesthetic and we will raise up your gums, clean them out, and then pull the gums down to reduce the pockets created by the tartar.
Want to Know More?
These are just a few of the most common and effective ways that we treat gum disease. If you would like to know what other options you have and how Florida Smiles Dental can assist, then you can give us a call at 754-354-0363 to talk to one of our periodontists.