What Are the Treatments for Gum Disease?
Gum disease can begin as a mild issue, characterized by minor redness and tenderness of the gums. But if it is left untreated, that mild issue can gradually grow into a real problem. When gingivitis progresses into periodontal disease, it can cause long-lasting damage, including the loss of gum tissue, bone, and your teeth. Dr. Timothy Kelly and his staff have effectively treated many Albuquerque patients who suffer from various stages of gum disease. From beginning to advanced phases, restorative dentistry treatments can help bring your gums back to good health.
What Are the Best Treatments for Gum Disease?
Treatment for gum disease can fall into two categories: surgical and non-surgical. If your particular case of gum disease is caught early enough, your dentist will be able to recommend a range of options that do not involve surgery. These might include:
- Routine Dental Cleanings - If it has been a while since the last time you had a dental check-up, and your dentist notices the beginning signs of gingivitis, he will likely clean any plaque and tartar from your teeth and recommend a check-up and cleaning every six months, along with improved home care, as a first defense to see if that is enough to get your gums back to good health.
- Root Planing and Scaling - Also known as “deep cleaning,” root planing and scaling goes beyond a typical dental cleaning. During this procedure, your dentist will use special tools to scrape away plaque and tartar buildup up under the gum line (scaling), and then polish and smooth out the surface of the tooth root to remove rough patches where bacteria can accumulate (root planing). Although root planing and scaling often requires local anesthesia, it is nonetheless still a non-surgical option for treatment.
When your gum disease is significantly advanced, non-surgical treatments may no longer be effective to repair the damage that has already been done. If this is the case, you will probably need one or more surgical treatments. These can include:
- Flap Surgery - This is essentially a continuation of root planing and scaling, in which your dentist will cut and pull back the gums in flaps to gain easier access to tartar buildup up beneath the gums. If the gums have become swollen and enlarged as a result of gum disease, your dentist may also remove some gum tissue in order to fit the gums more tightly to the surface of your teeth. This is called pocket reduction surgery and is sometimes performed in conjunction with flap surgery.
- Soft Tissue or Bone Grafts - In cases of advanced periodontal disease, the gums and underlying bone may start to deteriorate. To reconstruct lost bone tissue or receding gums, your dentist may graft bone fragments or soft tissue from another part of the mouth to the affected areas.
Contact Our Office for an Appointment Today
Don’t let gum disease continue to affect your life. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact our office to schedule an appointment and learn more about options for gum disease treatments from Dr. Kelly and his team today.