Periodontal disease, also called gum disease, is a progressive oral health condition that affects not only your gums, but your periodontal ligaments, your jawbone, your teeth, and even your overall health. Unfortunately, when gum disease first begins, it is very difficult to tell that it is there. The longer the issue goes untreated, the more severe the effects. Gum disease can lead to gum recession, tooth loss, and serious health complications. If you have developed gum disease, Harry Albers DDS can help.
Scaling and Root PlaningScaling and root planing are one of the most common treatments for periodontal disease. It is essentially a deep cleaning of your teeth and involves cleaning all surfaces both above and below the gum line. Scaling is the process of cleaning the visible surfaces of your teeth, including around and just below the gum line. Root planing is the smoothing of the root surfaces of your teeth. An antibacterial rinse is also administered below the gum line to help eliminate any lingering bacteria. A follow-up appointment is scheduled for 6 to 8 weeks later to assess your healing.
Periodontal MaintenanceIf you do not show sufficient healing, or your gums continue to get worse, you may be recommended for periodontal maintenance. This is a treatment that involves a series of regularly scheduled appointments. During these appointments, your teeth and gums are examined, and your periodontal pockets are measured. X-rays may also be taken to assess the condition of your jawbone. The frequency of your appointments is dependent upon your specific circumstances. There are some patients who require appointments every two months, while others may only need them every 6 months. Read More About Periodontal Maintenance.
Pocket Reduction SurgeryIf your periodontal pockets are too deep to clean with scaling and root planing, pocket reduction surgery may be recommended. This is a procedure that is performed to effectively clean out deep periodontal pockets so that your gums can begin reattaching to your teeth. Small incisions are made in your gums to expose the roots of the teeth and the surrounding bone. Your teeth are then thoroughly cleaned and disinfected. Once complete, the gums are sutured closed.
Osseous SurgeryOsseous surgery is performed when you have deep periodontal pockets, and the bacteria have begun to affect your jawbone. As the bacteria attack your jawbone, you suffer bone loss, which leads to bony defects. These defects can hide bacteria.
If you have bone defects, osseous surgery may then be suggested. This procedure, typically performed in conjunction with pocket reduction surgery, involves smoothing the bony defects. By doing so, the bacteria have no place to hide. Small incisions are made in your gums to expose the roots of your teeth and the surrounding bone. The bony defects are smoothed out, and your jawbone and teeth are thoroughly cleaned and disinfected. Finally, the gums are sutured closed against the teeth. As you heal, your gums can begin to reattach to the bone and your teeth, improving your oral health and your smile.
Treating gum disease as soon as it is noticed is essential for putting a stop to its progression and restoring the health of your mouth. For more information, and to schedule your consultation, call Harry Albers DDS today at (707) 575-1190.