Can Teeth Affected By Periodontal Disease Be Saved?
Yes, depending on the severity of the gum disease, teeth affected by periodontal disease may be saved. Scaling, root planing, and antibiotic therapy can help reduce inflammation and slow the progress of periodontal disease. Surgery may sometimes be required to repair and restore the lost tissue and bone.
Bacterial infections in the gums cause periodontal (gum) disease. Untreated gum disease puts the underlying tooth-supporting jaw bone at risk.
The first sign of gum disease is red, inflamed gums that frequently bleed. Allowing the condition to progress causes the gums to separate from the teeth and pockets to form. Bacteria grow in these spaces, destroying gum tissue and bone and eventually resulting in tooth loss.
Your dentist in Wall Township, NJ, may perform the following tests to determine whether you have periodontitis and how severe it is:
- Examine your medical history for any factors causing your symptoms, such as smoking or taking medications that cause dry mouth.
- Examine your mouth for plaque and tartar buildup and easy bleeding.
- Place a dental probe beside your tooth beneath your gumline, usually at several locations throughout your mouth, to measure the pocket depth of the groove between your gums and teeth. The pocket depth in a healthy mouth is usually between 1 and 3 millimeters (mm). Periodontitis may be indicated by pockets deeper than 4 mm. Pockets deeper than 5 mm cannot be effectively cleaned.
- Check for bone loss with dental X-rays in areas where your dentist notices deeper pocket depths.
Periodontitis may be classified into stages and grades by your dentist based on the severity of the disease, the complexity of treatment, your risk factors, and your overall health. Visit Susan J. Curley DDS if you want periodontal disease treatment near you.
Gum Disease Treatment
A periodontist or a dentist may provide treatment. Periodontitis treatment aims to thoroughly clean the pockets around teeth and protect the surrounding bone.
- Nonsurgical therapies
If periodontitis is not advanced, treatment may consist of less invasive procedures such as:
- Scaling. Scaling removes bacteria from the surfaces of your teeth and beneath your gums. It could be done with instruments, a laser, or an ultrasonic device.
- Planing the roots. Root planingsmoothes the root surfaces of your teeth, discouraging further tartar and bacteria buildup, and removes bacterial byproducts that cause inflammation and delay gum healing or reattachment to the tooth surfaces.
- Antibiotics. Bacterial infection can be controlled with topical or oral antibiotics. Topical antibiotics can include mouth rinses or the placement of antibiotic-containing gels between your gums and teeth or into pockets after deep cleaning. Oral antibiotics, on the other hand, may be required to eliminate infection-causing bacteria.
- Surgical procedures
If you have advanced periodontitis, you may need to have dental surgery, such as:
- The flap surgery: Your periodontist will make tiny incisions in your gums to lift back a section of gum tissue, exposing the roots for more effective scaling and root planing. Because periodontitis frequently results in bone loss, the underlying bone may be recontoured. Cleaning these areas and maintaining healthy gum tissue once healed will be easier.
- Grafts of soft tissue. Your gumline recedes when you lose gum tissue. Some of the damaged soft tissue may need to be reinforced. This is typically accomplished by removing a small amount of tissue from the palate or using tissue from a different donor source and attaching it to the affected site. This can help to prevent further gum recession, cover exposed roots, and improve the appearance of your teeth.
- Grafting of bone. This procedure is used when periodontitis has destroyed the bone surrounding your tooth root. The graft could be made of small fragments of your bone or synthetic or donated bone. By holding your tooth in place, the bone graft helps to prevent tooth loss. It also serves as a platform for natural bone regrowth.
- Tissue regeneration with guidance. This allows for the regeneration of bone that bacteria have destroyed. In one method, your dentist will sandwich a biocompatible fabric between your existing bone and your tooth. The material keeps unwanted tissue out of the healing area, allowing bone to regrow.