Diagnosing and Treating Periodontal Diseases

Most gum infections are a result of the accumulation of bacteria in the gums. Plaque and tartar offer an environment for the bacteria to multiply. Therefore, to prevent gum infections, you should start by practicing good oral hygiene.

Periodontitis or gum inflammation is a serious gum disease that damages the soft tissue and without treatment can also damage your jawbone.

Signs and Symptoms of Gum Disease

If your gums are healthy, they are likely to appear firm, pale pink, and snugly fitting on your teeth. Unhealthy gums are characterized by the following signs:

  • Brightly red or purple gums
  • Swollen or puffy gums
  • Tenderness on your gums
  • Gums with pus pockets
  • Bad breath
  • Excruciating pain
  • Gum recession

Risk Factors

Some of the factors that increase the risk of gum diseases include:

  • Poor oral health habits
  • Using tobacco products
  • Gingivitis
  • Vitamin C deficiency
  • Obesity
  • Genetics

Diagnosis

Before receiving any gum disease treatments, your dentist might carry out a diagnosis to confirm the disease. To check if you have periodontitis and determine its severity, your Greely dentist will do the following:

  • Review your medical history. The dentist will ask you about your past treatments and any factors such as smoking that can contribute to gum diseases.
  • Oral examination. Your dentist will ask you to open your mouth to check for any signs of bleeding, tartar, and plaque build-up.
  • Measure the depth of gum pockets. Due to gum recession, some pocket-like grooves develop around your teeth. Unlike in a healthy mouth whose pockets are only 1 to 3 millimeters, unhealthy gums have pockets as deep as 5 millimeters.
  • Take dental X-rays. Your dentist at Affordable Dental clinics can consider taking dental x-rays to check for bone damage.

Treatment Options

Gum disease treatments are either surgical or non-surgical. Periodontists or dentists use surgical methods if the conditions are severe.

Non-Surgical Treatment Options

If your conditions are not severe, your dentist will recommend minimally invasive treatments. Such treatments include:

Scaling

When performing a scaling procedure, your dentist or periodontist removes tartar and plaque from your gum lines and tooth surfaces. During the procedure, the dentist uses a laser or an ultrasonic device.

Antibiotics

Your dentist can consider using oral or topical antibiotics. Topical antibiotics include insertion gels into the gum pockets and mouth rinses. You can also take pills that help in eliminating bacteria and fighting infections.

Root Planing

During this procedure, the dentist smoothens the rough surface on your tooth, thus discouraging pulp and tartar build-up. The process also removes bacterial byproducts that lead to inflammations. The procedure stimulates healing and reattachment of the gum to the teeth.

Surgical Treatment Options

If your conditions are severe, your dentist might consider any of the following procedures:

Flap Surgery

Flap or pocket reduction surgery is a procedure that involves making tiny incisions on the pockets to lift them back. The periodontist lifts the gum sections to expose your gumline for scaling and root planing.

The periodontist might recontour the damaged bone before suturing the incisions.

Bone Grafting

Since gum diseases can cause bone degeneration, your dentist can decide to graft the damaged bone. Your dentist can use fragments of your bone, from a donor or synthetic ones. The graft prevents tooth loss by holding it in place.

Soft Tissue Grafting

Your gum tends to recede once you lose some tissue. You will require your gum tissue to be reinforced. Therefore, your periodontist will remove a small amount of tissue from the roof of your mouth. He or she will then graft them into your gums, thus hiding the parts of your gum lining that might be exposed to infections.

Guided Tissue Regeneration

During this procedure, your dentist places a biocompatible fabric between your bone and tooth. The fabric will then prevent the entry of any unwanted tissue into the area, thus enhance bone regeneration.

Another procedure for treating gum diseases is using tissue-stimulating proteins. Your dentist applies a special gel around the tooth root. The gel contains proteins that help in the growth of the enamel, thus stimulating the growth of healthy and strong tissues.

Home Remedies

The following measures will prevent or reduce the effects of gum diseases

  • Regular brushing and flossing
  • Avoiding the use of tobacco products
  • Regular professional dental cleaning

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