Advanced Periodontal Disease Treatment
Periodontal disease is a mild gum infection that is caused by excess plaque that feeds and thrives on the sugars and starches left over in teeth and gums after eating. It is easily preventable with proper oral hygiene and is easily treatable with a professional cleaning by a dentist if there is tartar buildup. However, if left untreated, gingivitis can escalate into a very serious and harmful infection known as periodontitis, which requires very rigorous treatment.
With a mild gum infection, the gums become reddened and swollen in protecting itself from the plaque. The plaque eventually hardens to form tartar, which makes it easier for bacteria to grow, while making it difficult to control it with brushing and flossing. If this trend continues, the plaque will spread to under the gum line and form pockets that fill with bacteria. This will damage the nearby gums and cause them to recede from the tooth, which can directly lead to a loss of teeth.
Even worse, the toxins produced by the bacteria can leak into the bloodstream, which can affect one’s systemic health. Studies have shown that people with periodontal disease are at a much greater risk of developing cardiovascular disease and stroke. Also, women that are pregnant are more likely to give birth to premature babies if they suffer from periodontitis.
There are several ways to treat periodontitis depending upon how aggressive it is. Non surgical treatment options include root planing and scaling. Using these methods, a dentist will clean off all traces of tartar, and remove any disease root surfaces of the affected teeth.
Surgery can be done if the gums are heavily infected. Flap surgery requires an oral surgeon to cut “flaps” of the gums and peel them back to expose the diseased root of the tooth and to effectively clean them. If a lot of bone or gum tissue is damaged, it must be removed and a graft must be done to replace the tissue removed. It is also possible that a tooth is so heavily damaged that the only course of action is a tooth extraction.