Gum and bone care
Why Do Gums Need Treatment?
Gum disease, also known as periodontal disease, normally develops when the plaque is allowed to build up along and under the gum line. This leads to inflammation of the gingiva, which if left untreated progress into a more destructive form of the disease leading to pus exudation, bone loss, tooth mobility and finally tooth loss.
Gums are most affected by the following gum diseases:
This is a mild form of gum disease that does not involve loss of any bone and tissue. In this condition, the patient’s gums will become red, swollen and can also bleed easily. This can be treated a great extent by removing the plaque and tartar arming the teeth by professional cleaning and good effective home care of proper brushing and flossing daily.
If a patient who has Gingivitis is not treated on time or properly, there are chances the patient can develop periodontitis. In this condition, the gums pull away from the teeth, forming spaces or pockets. The infection will then affect these pockets and damage the bone and the connective tissue holding the teeth, in turn, loosening the teeth.
In most cases of periodontitis, the periodontal bacteria found in the mouth are found to be the cause. They usually turn harmful when they get right conditions, like the presence of plaque.
Gum Disease Symptoms
Patients suffering from gum diseases display different symptoms like:
- Tender or Bleeding Gums
- Recurrent Swelling of gums
- Bad breath
- Deep pockets between the teeth and the gums
- Painful chewing
- Loose Teeth or appear to have shifted
- Receding Gums
- An itchy feeling in the gums.
The treatment option for gum diseases depends on the extent of the disease. The periodontist normally recommends a Non-Surgical Treatment as a first step to treating the disease. The next level of surgical treatment is opted only if the symptoms are unbearable for the patient or the extent of the disease.
Surgical Treatments for Gum Disease
The dentists typically recommend surgery when the tissue around the teeth is not healthy or if they are inflamed, and also when deep pockets remain even after non-surgical treatment.
- Flap Surgery/Pocket Reduction Surgery: This procedure is done with the objective of gaining access to deeper areas around the tooth harbouring plaque and tartar. In this procedure after injecting a local anaesthetic solution, the dental surgeon peels the gums away from the tooth. He then cleans the teeth and its roots to remove tartar. With the help of sutures, the gums are put back on to placed and allowed to heal. Once the surgery is performed, gums normally heal and will fit more tightly around the teeth. This will reduce the spaces where the bacteria can grow.
- Bone Grafts: The dentist will recommend this procedure for patients with bones that had been damaged by periodontal or gum diseases. This procedure involves rebuilding/regenerating the lost bone using fragments of the existing bone or synthetic bone. The stability of the teeth is restored and these bone grafts support the regrowth of the bone.
- Soft Tissue Grafts: The dentist will recommend this procedure for conditions where the gum tissue is lost due to gum recession. The dental surgeon will take the soft tissue from the patient’s palate. The surgeon will then stitch these tissue grafts into place to cover the exposed roots. This will further reduce the gum recession and loss of bone.
- Guided Tissue Regeneration: The dentist usually performs this procedure in combination with the flap surgery for bone stimulation and growth of the gum tissue. In this procedure, the surgeon will place a small piece of the biocompatible membrane between the bones and gum tissue. This helps for the regrowth of the bone and the connective tissue.
- Bone Surgery: This is usually performed after the flap surgery to reshape the bone around the tooth. This will decrease the craters caused due to disease process and aid in better healing.