Posts for tag: periodontal disease
There’s only one way to effectively halt the progressive damage of periodontal (gum) disease — completely remove the bacterial plaque and hardened deposits (calculus) from above and below the gum line that are causing the infection. Although we can accomplish this in most cases with hand instruments called scalers, ultra-sonic equipment or both, some cases may require periodontal surgery to access and clean deeper “pockets” of infection.
As this damaging disease progresses, the supporting bone dissolves and the gum tissues will begin to detach from a tooth, leaving an open space known as a “periodontal pocket.” Besides plaque and calculus pus may also form as a result of the infection. All of this material must be removed from the pocket before healing and, hopefully, tissue reattachment can begin.
Shallow pockets near the gum line are usually accessed and cleaned with hand instruments. But deeper pockets (5 millimeters or greater in depth) may require a surgical procedure to completely clean the area also allowing for regenerative procedures to be done to regain attachment. This will reduce the depth of the periodontal pockets that will make them more accessible for future cleanings and maintenance. Flap surgery is a common type of such a procedure: a small opening (similar to the flap of a letter envelope) is surgically created in the gum tissue to expose the area of infection around the tooth root and bone.
There are also other types of periodontal surgery for repairing and stimulating regeneration of damaged gum tissues. Using grafts or other enhancements, these plastic surgical techniques are especially useful where gum tissues have receded above the natural gum line, leaving more of the underlying tooth below the enamel exposed to disease. These procedures have become more effective in recent years with the development of specialized technologies called “barrier membranes” and biologic growth factors. These materials have allowed bone grafts to be more successful as this technology is engineered for targeted tissue growth and repair, and then dissolve at an appropriate point in the regeneration process.
Periodontal surgery isn’t appropriate for every situation. Still, these procedures do play an important role for many patients to put a halt to the damage caused by gum disease.
If you would like more information on surgical procedures for gum disease, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Periodontal Surgery: Where Art Meets Science.”
Located in Albuquerque, NM, Dr. Petra Mayer gives her patients the necessary information to help them maintain a healthy oral regimen, especially when it comes to their gum health—after all, gum infection does damage the gums and destroy the jawbone. Read on to learn more about gum disease and how your Albuquerque dentist can treat the condition!
A Background on Gum Disease
When bacteria attacks the gums and causes painful inflammation, this is termed as gum disease. You may experience a variety of issues as a result of gum disease, including gum recession, bone loss around your teeth, and tooth loss.
The onset of gum disease is related to poor oral hygiene (i.e. disregarding daily brushing/flossing and avoiding bi-annual checkups and cleanings). When a person neglects to take care of their teeth, the rest of their mouth suffers. Additional habits that lead to gum disease include choosing to eat unhealthy, sugar-containing food and regularly using tobacco products.
You may not know you have gum disease at an early stage if you're not visiting your dentist, here are a few symptoms you need to look out for:
- Receding gums
- Bleeding gums
- Bad breath
- Redness or swelling of the gums
- Periodontal abscess
- Loose teeth
In the event of gum disease, there are a few treatment options your doctor may provide you with, including:
- Manually removing plaque by scaling, root planning, or debridement
- Applying antimicrobial products to assist in the healing process of periodontal disease
- Periodontal surgery may be required depending on the severity of your gum disease
Your gums are just as important as any part of your dental/oral health. Improper care may lead to severe issues or diseases as mentioned above. If you have questions or concerns about gum disease or gum disease therapy, call Dr. Petra Mayer at her Albuquerque, NM, office: (505) 881-2400.
What your periodontist in Albuquerque wants you to know
It’s easy for you to ignore your gums, but if you do, you can develop gum disease. Gum disease, also known as periodontal disease, can cause you to lose your teeth and your smile. The good news is, you can prevent gum disease, but first you have to recognize it. Dr. Petra Mayer in Albuquerque, NM wants to help you know the common signs of gum disease and how to treat it.
You may only notice a little bleeding at first when you brush and floss. You may be thinking you should stop brushing and flossing, but just the opposite is true. When your gums bleed, that means they are inflamed or infected by bacteria and you should brush and floss MORE not less.
The plaque in your mouth contains millions of harmful bacteria which can destroy the soft and hard tissues of your mouth, your gums, bone and teeth. By brushing and flossing regularly, you are removing the plaque and bacteria before they can damage your smile.
So, bleeding is a very common sign of gum disease, but there are others, including:
- Red, irritated gum tissue
- Swollen, puffy gum tissue
- Feeling pain when you brush, floss or eat
- Chronic bad breath and a sour taste in your mouth
Gum disease (periodontal disease) can be prevented by:
- Brushing after meals and before bed
- Flossing at least once each day
- Having your mouth examined for gum/periodontal disease including x-rays at least yearly
- Having professional dental cleanings at least every six months, if not more frequently
If you don’t treat gum/periodontal disease, there is a good chance it will progress to the supporting bone of your teeth. The bone around your teeth begins to disintegrate from harmful plaque bacteria, resulting in loose teeth, or lost teeth. Periodontal disease cannot be reversed, only managed. Once you have periodontal disease, aggressive treatment is necessary to manage the disease.
Your smile doesn’t have to suffer from gum or periodontal disease. If you think you might have gum disease, it’s time to call Dr. Mayer in Albuquerque, NM. Early treatment means a better outcome for you, so call today!