Dealing With Gum Disease: Three Treatment Options To Consider

Posted on: 21 July 2016

Gum disease is an infection of the gums, which can lead to bone loss, tooth loss and other complications. If you have gum disease, your dentist or periodontist can recommend options to help improve your overall oral health and fight the disease. Before you choose a treatment option, consider familiarizing yourself with the different treatments available. Here are a few options you may want to consider.

Root Planing And Scaling

Root planing and scaling is a non-surgical option for treating gum disease. This treatment cleans the gums and your teeth all the way down to their roots, which means it is a bit more involved than a traditional dental cleaning. Your dentist may use local anesthetic to numb the area before performing the cleaning procedure, but it isn't always necessary. Your periodontist may prescribe an antibiotic to take in the days following the procedure if you have any conditions that make you more susceptible to infection, as the cleaning procedure can potentially release bacteria into your bloodstream. Be sure to tell your periodontist about any medical conditions you have in advance so you can be sure to get the right after-care treatment.

Soft Tissue Grafts

Soft tissue grafts, or gum grafts, are used to replace or reinforce the areas of the gum where it has worn thin or receded from the teeth. This is a surgical procedure, so your periodontist will talk to you about anesthesia options before you schedule your appointments. The procedure involves grafting a piece of tissue, typically from the roof of your mouth or from a tissue donor, and stitching it to the existing gum area. Once in place, you will notice that you have less tooth exposure, which helps to restore your smile.

Pocket Reduction/Flap Surgery

Pocket reduction and flap surgery are used to clean the area beneath the gums to remove excess plaque. It is more invasive than root planing and scaling, but it serves the added purpose of reducing gaps between the teeth and gums. During this procedure, your periodontist will lift the gums back, clear out the tarter, and then replace the gums with a more snug fit. Reducing the size of the pockets will help to prevent tarter from becoming trapped in the area, which can lead to more gum issues.

Your periodontist will be able to help you choose the right option for your oral health. The procedure you select will depend on your current gum and tooth issues as well as any health conditions you may have. Be sure to schedule an appointment with a dental professional, like one at The Family Dentist, if you believe you have issues with gum disease or receding gums, so you can begin to plan for your periodontal procedures.