Gum disease can be hard to detect early because the signs can be so subtle. Scaling and root planing below the gum line can often solve early cases, but what’s the next step if that doesn’t work? Dr. Bradley Dean, an experienced periodontist in Plano, TX, performs multiple surgeries to cure advanced stage gum disease.
What is Periodontitis?
Periodontitis is the most advanced stage of gum disease. At this point, scaling and root planing (deep cleaning) below the gum line can’t usually take care of the problem. The gums actually become infected, causing damage to the jawbone and soft tissue. This stage is where you start seeing receding gums and tooth loss due to the infection. Surgical options of treatment are usually necessary with periodontitis.
With periodontitis, the gums start to recede and expose the tooth root. Since this is a slow process, you may not even be able to tell that it’s happening. One of the only tells is sensitivity to hot or cold while eating, because of the tooth roots being exposed. While it may just seem like a cosmetic issue, an exposed tooth root leads to a higher rate of tooth decay and bone loss.
Dr. Dean will do an evaluation to see how bad your case is. Gum grafting is a fairly simple procedure, but it depends on the severity of your particular case. He’ll take tissue from another area of your mouth or an alternative biological material. Thin strips of tissue cover the exposed tooth roots, decreasing sensitivity and your chance of further problems.
This procedure is also called gum pocket surgery. If scaling and root planing don’t do the trick, this is used to remove the current plaque and bacteria. The depth of the gum pocket then needs to be reduced to keep this from happening in the future. Dr. Dean will smooth and reshape the bone to do this. This makes it hard for bacteria to get in there and survive down the road. This stops the decaying and any further damage to the teeth, gums, and bone.
Periodontal Bone Grafting
When gum disease is very advanced, it can impact the bone. The bone recedes, creating large gaps between the teeth, eventually leading to teeth beginning to fall out. A bone graft helps to rejuvenate the growth of the lost bone.
Bone grafts are also done sometimes before dental implants are placed. With a missing tooth, you rapidly lose the bone beneath it. There needs to be a certain amount of bone to support a new dental implant. This means a bone graft needs to be done to create a stable base for your dental implant and restored tooth.
Surgery for Gum Disease in Plano, Texas
Gum disease isn’t something to let go unchecked. Call us today or schedule an appointment online to get your gums healthy again