Your dentist in Warren, NJ
Periodontal disease or gum disease is an inflammation of the gum line that if untreated can affect the bone that surrounds and supports the teeth. There are three stages of gum disease- gingivitis (least severe), periodontitis and advanced periodontitis (most severe).
The most common condition is gingivitis. Plaque developing along the gum line causes inflammation of the gums surrounding the base of the teeth. Red and swollen gums as well as gum bleeding are typical symptoms of gingivitis. Changes in hormones caused from puberty or pregnancy could cause or intensify the disease.
Periodontitis can occur if gingivitis is left untreated. Besides inflammation of the gums, periodontitis can also cause bone loss.
Symptoms include red and swollen gums, and the formation of gum pockets around the teeth. These gum pockets allow bacteria and tartar to get deeper under the gum line.
Advance periodontitis can include the same symptoms as periodontitis as well as the loosening and even loss of teeth.
Depending on the state of the disease and the patient's overall health, there are a variety of treatments from non-surgical to surgical treatments for gum disease (also known as periodontal disease). As a preventative measure, it is imperative to practice good oral hygiene with both brushing and flossing and it is recommended that a professional dental cleaning be performed at least twice a year.
Scaling and root planing: Dr. Scott removes plaque and tartar above and below the gum line by being scraped away (scaling) and any rough spots on the tooth are made smooth (planing). In some instances, local anesthesia is used to make the patient comfortable.
Flap Surgery or Pocket Reduction Surgery: During this procedure tartar is removed by lifting back the gums and damaged bone are smoothed. Essentially this reduces the size of the space between the gum and the tooth, which in turn decreases the areas where harmful bacteria can grow.
Bone Grafts: Using fragments of your own bone, grafts are used to replace bone destroyed by gum disease. This helps restore stability to to your teeth.
Soft Tissue Grafts: Grafted tissues is used to help reinforce thin gums or to fill in places where gums have receded. Typically the graft is taken from the roof of the mouth.
Guided Tissue Regeneration: When the bone supporting your teeth has been destroyed, this procedure stimulates bone and gum tissue growth. A small mesh-like fabric is inserted between the bone and gum tissue and helps keep the gum tissue from growing into the area where the bone should be. This allows the bone and connective tissue to regrow to better support the teeth and can be done in combination with flap surgery.
Bone Surgery: Following flap surgery, the bone around the tooth is reshaped to decrease craters from moderate to advanced bone loss. The smoother surface makes it harder for bacteria to collect and grow.