Gum disease, also referred to as periodontal disease, is a serious oral health issue. When it first occurs, it is barely noticeable, but it can quickly become worse. At Newport Dental Group, we can provide you with the periodontal treatments you need to restore the health of your mouth.
Gum Disease Progression
Gum disease occurs as a result of a buildup of plaque (a sticky substance that collects on your teeth) and oral bacteria. Plaque irritates your gums, which causes your immune system to send an inflammatory response. This early stage of gum disease is known as gingivitis. It often goes unnoticed, and the symptoms are often mistaken for brushing too hard. As gum disease progresses, your swollen gums begin to pull away from your teeth, creating pockets. Bacteria fall into these pockets. Along with attacking your gums, bacteria also attack your periodontal ligaments (the structures that hold your teeth in place) and your jawbone, weakening them. Eventually, your gums begin to recede, your teeth become loose, and they can even fall out.
Scaling and Root Planing
Scaling and root planing is a common treatment for gum disease. Scaling involves scraping plaque, tartar (hardened plaque that cannot be removed with a toothbrush), bacteria and other debris from the surfaces of your teeth, including between them and just below the gum line. Root planing is the process in which we smooth the surfaces of your teeth’s roots, which removes buildup and makes it more difficult for bacteria to adhere. An antibacterial wash is used to kill any lingering bacteria below the gum line.
For scaling and root planing to be effective, we need to clean all surfaces of your teeth. In some cases, swollen gum tissue can get in the way, preventing a thorough cleaning. If the bacteria are not properly removed, it will continue to multiply, and your gums will not be able to heal. Laser dentistry allows us to perform a thorough cleaning. A special laser tool is used to remove infected gum tissue, providing access to your teeth that we need.
Pocket Reduction Surgery
If your gum disease is more advanced, you may require a surgical procedure. There are a few different surgical treatments available. One surgical periodontal treatment is a pocket reduction surgery. Pockets form as a result of swollen gums pulling away from your teeth. When bacteria fall under the gum line, they continue to attack the tissue, causing the pockets to grow deeper. If the pockets are too deep, we cannot properly clean all of the bacteria from your teeth. Pocket reduction surgery provides us with the access required to thoroughly clean your teeth, giving your gums the opportunity they need to heal.
Gum recession is common with more advanced stages of gum disease. This exposes more of the surface area of your teeth, including their roots. This leaves you susceptible to sensitivity, tooth decay, and loose teeth. A gum graft is a surgical procedure that restores your natural gum line, helping to restore the health of your mouth. Soft tissue from elsewhere in your mouth, usually the roof, is removed and sutured to your natural gum tissue. As you heal, the tissue forms tightly around your teeth, creating a protective seal.
Bone loss is also common with advanced gum disease. When your jaw loses bone mass, your teeth become loose and can fall out. A bone graft is a surgical procedure that takes bone from elsewhere in your body (or uses a synthetic bone substitute) and places in the areas of weakness, restoring the strength of your jaw. This is a common procedure after tooth loss to restore sufficient strength to your jaw to support dental implants, which are used to replace missing teeth.
If you have gum disease, it is important to get professional treatment right away. Call Newport Dental Group at (949) 574-0100 to schedule your appointment today.