Periodontal Surgery and Minor Surgical Gum Repairs
Have you ever wondered what your regular dental check-up entails? Moreover, have you wondered why it is necessary to go for regular check-up and not only when you are experiencing tooth ache?
Each time you visit your dentist, your dentist examines your mouth thoroughly. This not only includes looking at the teeth to check for cracks or tooth decay, it also includes examining your gum, and to determine whether your gums are healthy or not.
What is Periodontal Disease?
Periodontal disease, or gum disease, is quite common in adults and there are many forms of gum diseases. Some are minor where there is only inflammation, but other gum diseases can get severe.
If a severe gum disease is left untreated, the soft tissue and bones that supports the teeth can be damaged and it might even result in loss of teeth.
Insufficient oral hygiene is one of the main factors in contracting gum disease. Our saliva and ultimately our mouths, contain bacteria.
The bacteria, saliva, and other particles in our mouth mixes and forms a sticky and colourless residue called plaque that sits on our teeth. When you brush and floss, plaque is removed but if not done properly, the remaining plaque hardens and forms a “tartar”, that is only removable by a dentist. The bacteria that is found in the remaining plaque produces a toxin that irritates the gum and will lead to redness, bleeding and swelling.
The inflammation of the gums caused by bacteria is called gingivitis. This is a mild form of gum disease and this gum infection treatment may include regular cleaning by a dentist and a daily routine that includes brushing and flossing.
If gingivitis is left untreated and the irritation remains on the gums, periodontitis forms. The gum will separate from the teeth causing a deep space between the gum lines called a pocket. The immune system of the body will fight the bacteria, but due to the toxin of the bacteria and the body’s own natural response to infection, the bones and connective tissue that holds the teeth in place is broken down, resulting in the bone to be destroyed, leading to tooth loss.
If you are experiencing the following symptoms, you need to see a dentist as soon as possible:
- Bad breath that does not go away
- Swollen or red gums
- Pain when chewing food
- Teeth that are loose
- Teeth that are sensitive
- When it looks like the gums are receding or your teeth appear to be longer
- Gums that bleed
- When it feels like your dentures don’t fit
- If there is pus between the teeth or when the gums are compressed
- If it feels like your “bite” has changed or that your teeth are not in place
Gum Infection Treatment
The gum infection treatment will depend on the severity of the gum disease. Periodontal surgery might be one of the options.
Sometimes, periodontal surgery is the only way to save your teeth. If the dentist determines that the unhealthy tissue around the teeth cannot be repaired by non-invasive procedures, surgery has to be performed. There are two types of surgical treatments that can be followed: Pocket Reduction Procedures and Regenerative Procedures.
The Pocket Reduction Procedure
Periodontal surgery is a minor surgical procedure that is normally done in a dental practice under a local anesthetic. During this minor procedure, the gums are folded back from the tooth so that a Periodontist is able to see the root of the tooth’s surface.
Periodontal disease is mainly caused by plaque that becomes tartar when not removed. The plaque contains bacteria that irritate the gums. This is the perfect way to remove tartar and bacteria formed in the pockets around the teeth.
Now, the bone surface is clean and the gum is able to retract towards it. If necessary. Bone grafting can be done to repair bone during this procedure. After the root has been prepared, the gum is closed with sutures and often a dressing is placed on the area in order to promote healing.
When gum infection treatment is ignored, the bacteria in the plaque will destroy the gums and bone attachment of the teeth. This will reach the roots of the teeth, causing damage to the bone supporting the teeth. This will lead to the teeth becoming loose or detached, to the extent of you losing your teeth. Periodontal surgery will be needed to attempt the regrowth or regeneration of the gum and bone tissue in order to save the natural teeth.
Other Reasons Why Surgery Has To Be Considered
Sometimes, periodontal surgery is a way to improve a patient’s appearance. Gum grafting is a type of periodontal surgery where the dentist corrects gums for aesthetical purposes. When gums recede or shrink, more teeth surface is exposed and this has an effect when someone smiles. The opposite is also true. In the case of someone’s gums, that covers too many teeth, the teeth looks shorter but with periodontal surgery, the teeth can look longer, having a huge effect on appearances.
Keep in mind that periodontal surgery is not a cure for gum disease but rather a gum infection treatment. The bacteria that causes the gum diseases are normally present in your mouth and mucus and it is therefore extremely important to have a daily dental regime that will ensure all the bacteria and food particles are removed. Surgery helps to remove the bacteria deeply hidden and to make sure that the areas are thoroughly clean.
When plaque and tartar is kept of the surface of a tooth during the recovery process, the tooth can be saved. However, if bacteria are allowed to build up during the healing process, the desired outcome cannot be achieved.
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For more information about our services, please don’t hesitate to get in touch