Treatment of gum disease
Gum disease treatment can be either non-surgical or surgical, depending on the stage of the disease and the overall health of your mouth and teeth. Non-surgical treatment options include scaling and root planing, as well as antibiotics. Options for surgery comprise pocket reduction surgeries and the guided regeneration of tissue. Most of the time, a specialist in periodontics (a gum specialist) is the one who performs these procedures.
What is the treatment for gum disease?
Gum disease treatment covers an array of dental procedures. Healthcare professionals use these procedures to decrease gum disease risk and repair damaged tissues caused by periodontal (gum) diseases. Periodontists (gum experts) generally carry out these procedures. However, general dentists can deal with mild types of gum disease.
Gum disease is a condition that occurs if bacteria and tartar accumulate on the surfaces of your teeth. The gums react to the bacteria in these irritants and turn tender, red, and swollen. The gums can also leak when you floss or brush.
The sooner you treat gum disease, the better your chances are of maintaining long-term oral health. At its earliest stage (gingivitis), gum disease is treatable. However, the more advanced phases (periodontitis) affect your gums and the bone beneath. The result is gaps or pockets in your periodontal ridges that are created around your teeth, which can lead to more tooth loss, infection, or even the loss of teeth.
How prevalent is the treatment for gum disease?
Gum treatment is one of the most common dental procedures. Within the U.S., almost half of the adults aged 30 and over suffer from at least one gum-related type. Around 9% of adults in the U.S. need advanced gum disease treatment.
Non-surgical vs. surgical treatment for gum disease What options do I have?
The need for surgery or non-surgical gum disease treatment is contingent upon several variables, including:
- The stages of gum disease.
- Your current oral health.
- Your general health.
- Your ability to adhere to instructions on oral hygiene after treatment.
There are numerous surgical and non-surgical treatments for gum diseases. Furthermore, many periodontists offer the option of sedation dentistry to ensure you are relaxed during your treatment. To find out more, speak to your doctor.
Non-surgical gum disease treatment options
Gum disease that is in an early stage, like periodontitis or gingivitis, may benefit from non-surgical treatments. Treatments for gum disease that are non-surgical include:
Prophylactic dental treatment
The dental prophylaxis procedure is a routine dental cleaning, similar to what many people do twice a year when they visit their hygienist. In this process, the dentist will remove tartar and plaque from the surfaces of your teeth.
Gingivitis (the initial stage of gingivitis) is typically treated with professional dental cleanings and improved home dental health. Based on your particular situation, you may require more frequent visits to your dentist or dental hygienist to ensure that harmful bacteria are kept out.
Scaling and root planning
Root planning and scaling is a thorough dental cleaning that goes far below your gum line to eliminate tartar and plaque on the surface of your roots. Along with completely cleaning your teeth and gums, your periodontist or dental hygienist will smooth out any rough spots you may have on the roots of your teeth. It will prevent plaque and bacteria from reattaching. Your periodontist will provide local anesthesia to help numb your gums. It will ensure your comfort during the procedure.
Your periodontist might utilize antibiotics for gum disease treatment, either as a standalone treatment or in conjunction with other treatments. Antibiotics that are commonly used in the treatment of gum diseases include minocycline HCl (Arestin(r)) and chlorhexidine (PerioChip(r)).The periodontist at your clinic can put these medications into that space between the gums and your teeth (the pockets of the periodontal cavity).
Laser periodontal therapy
In this procedure, your periodontist employs small lasers to remove the diseased tissues and kill the bacteria in your gums. In certain instances, doctors use lasers instead of traditional procedures for gums. Unlike traditional gum surgery, laser therapy does not require sutures or incisions.
Dental surgery to treat gum disease
People suffering from advanced to moderate periodontal disease generally require surgical intervention. The surgical treatments for gum disease are:
Surgery to reduce the size of your pocket (flap surgery)
In this process, the periodontist will make cuts along your gum line and then, for a short period, shift your gums away from your tooth. It will allow them to view the roots below. Then, they’ll get rid of the tartar buildup and clean the surfaces of your roots. They can smooth and reshape damaged bone areas in some cases, making it difficult for bacteria and fungi to cover up or multiply. IN the end, they’ll move your gums and then fix them.
A dental bone graft uses your bone, bone from a donor, or artificial bone to repair regions that have been affected by gum disease. The graft serves as a scaffold to hold spaces open until new bones can be built. Periodontists frequently do bone grafting along with pocket reduction surgeries.
A gum graft uses your tissue, donated tissue, or synthetic material to correct the recession of the gums (when you notice your gums begin to pull apart from your teeth). Gum recession is a common symptom of periodontal disease.
In gum surgery for grafting, your periodontist puts the tissue graft where your gums are receding and stitches it in place. If they’re using the tissue you have, they’ll pull the graft out of the mouth’s roof.
Regeneration of tissues guided by a guide
Periodontal diseases can cause gaps to develop between your tooth’s roots and your bone. When you undergo guided tissue regeneration, the periodontist puts a membrane over the damaged area to stop your gum tissue from expanding at the exact place the bone is supposed to be. The body has time to build up the bone surrounding your tooth. In many instances, periodontists will place a bone graft during the same procedure to aid in this process.
What are the possible advantages of treating gum disease?
The benefits of treating gum disease outweigh the disadvantages. If not treated, gum disease will continue its destructive course, leading to a cycle of inflammation, bone loss, and, eventually, tooth loss. If you treat it promptly, it is possible to:
- Get rid of bacteria that cause disease in your mouth.
- Stop the loss of bone within your jaw.
- Eliminate smelly breath (halitosis).
- Maintain healthy gums that don’t appear soft, swollen, or red.
- Reduce your risk of stroke, heart disease, and other medical ailments.
How effective can gum disease treatments be?
The treatment for periodontal diseases has impressive results that can go as high as 95% in certain cases. These rates can vary depending on various factors, such as the procedure used and how the patient takes care of their gums and teeth following treatment.
Treatment for gum disease can alter the appearance of teeth affected by periodontitis. In many instances, this kind of treatment could save teeth that would have been in danger of losing their teeth without treatment.
It is important to realize that you aren’t able to treat gum disease. You have to treat it. Treatments focus on prevention and management instead of the cure.
What are the potential risks or consequences of treatment for periodontal disease?
The possible complications that can arise from gum disease treatment may include the following:
- Post-treatment pain.
- Sensitivity to teeth
- Gum recession.
If you experience any of these issues, contact your periodontist. They may prescribe medication or suggest treatments to reduce the effects of these conditions.
How long will it take to heal gum disease?
It’s contingent on the type of treatment you’ll receive. If you’re having root planning and scaling done, it won’t require any downtime. Suppose you are undergoing procedures for advanced periodontal diseases, like the flap procedure, bone grafts, or gum grafts. In that case, you’ll require anywhere between one and four weeks to heal.
How can I take care of my gums and teeth following treatment for gum disease?
Following your gum disease treatment, your periodontist will provide you with a comprehensive list of care guidelines. The guidelines will differ based on the kind of procedure you underwent. Make sure you ask your periodontist for specific post-treatment recommendations. The general rule is to
- Follow all medications exactly as directed by the periodontist you consult.
- Consult your periodontist when you notice any unusual negative side effects, for example, bleeding that isn’t stopping or pain that won’t get better with medications.
- Make sure the area of treatment is tidy. (Your periodontist will instruct you on the best way to clean it, depending on the specific circumstances.)
Oral hygiene that lasts for a long time
Gum disease treatments can help eliminate harmful bacteria from your mouth. However, suppose you do not practice regular oral hygiene at home. In that case, bacteria may regenerate, leaving you in the same spot where you began. To prevent this from occurring, it is important to follow your periodontist’s instructions. These are general rules.
- Make sure you brush your teeth two to three times throughout the day and orient the toothbrush towards the gum line. It will help eliminate harmful bacteria that are residing between your gums and your teeth.
- Make sure you floss your teeth at least once throughout the day. It doesn’t matter if you brush in the morning, throughout the day, or just before going to bed. It’s important to floss regularly to remove tartar, plaque, and other bacteria from your teeth.
- Make sure you use an antibacterial mouthwash at least twice a day. Make sure you choose a formula without alcohol to decrease the chance of developing dry lips (xerostomia).
- Consult the dentist or your hygienist regularly for regular oral hygiene visits. The frequency of these visits differs for each person, depending upon the extent of their condition. For instance, some patients might only require two visits every year, while others could require four.
What should I do if I call my periodontist in my medical practice?
Following periodontal disease treatment, it is recommended that you contact your periodontist as soon as you notice:
- The pain is intense and won’t disappear.
- Pain that becomes more severe over the course of three to four days
- the infection (pus) at the site of treatment.
Do you have an appointment with a dentist or doctor to treat gum diseases?
A periodontist (gum expert) is typically a dentist who treats periodontal diseases. General or family dentists might decide to treat a few minor cases independently.
You can request a recommendation for an experienced periodontist through your dentist or your primary medical doctor (PCP).
Can mouthwash aid in gum disease?
Mouthwash is a powerful instrument for treating and preventing periodontal diseases. Be aware, however: Mouthwash isn’t a replacement for flossing, brushing, or regular visits to the dentist.
Select an alcohol-free antibacterial formulation that includes either hydrogen peroxide or chlorhexidine. These ingredients can aid in the reduction of tartar and plaque.Consult your periodontist or dentist if you need clarification on buying the right brand or formula.
Do I need hydrogen peroxide for gum disease treatment?
Although hydrogen peroxide can reduce the tartar and plaque buildup on the teeth, it is recommended not to use it in its undiluted form since it may cause burns to the gum tissue. If you prefer, you can combine one part hydrogen peroxide with three parts water.The mixture should be sprayed for 60 seconds and then spit out. You can buy an oral rinse that already contains hydrogen peroxide.
Can I treat gum disease without an appointment with a dentist?
Gum disease isn’t curable. It’s manageable. However, you won’t be able to successfully treat gingivitis without the assistance of a periodontist or dentist. Bacteria get into the subsurface of your gums, and flossing and brushing cannot reach them.
A good oral hygiene routine could, at best, slow the devastation process. However, expert treatment is essential for proper treatment and long-term dental health.
What are the advantages and disadvantages of laser treatments for gum disease?
Periodontists employ laser light therapy to eliminate the bacteria responsible for causing disease and clean the area they treat. Like all procedures, there are pros and cons.
Laser treatment is a good option for gum disease.
Here are the top benefits of laser therapy.
- Precision and accuracy Periodontal lasers target damaged tissue while leaving healthy tissues intact.
- reduction in discomfort Because laser therapy is less invasive than conventional gum surgery, patients treated with this treatment generally suffer less swelling, pain, and discomfort.
- A shorter recovery. Recovery after laser therapy is typically less invasive than conventional gum surgeries. However, the exact time for healing varies according to the number of teeth that require treatment and how severe the condition is.
Pros and cons of laser treatments to treat gum diseases
There’s a major drawback with periodontal laser therapy. It’s not always successful in treating serious periodontal diseases. If you suffer from serious periodontitis, your periodontist might suggest traditional flap surgery.
A note from the Dental Center of Tysons Corner
Gum disease treatment includes a variety of surgical and non-surgical methods used to treat gingivitis and periodontitis. Professional treatment is the only solution to manage and treat these ailments effectively. There is no treatment for gum disease. However, you can control it with the right treatment and better dental hygiene at home.