Treating Gum Disease
By Fernando Garcia on August 16, 2018
Gum disease is an infection that damages the gums and jawbone. If it progresses, it can even result in tooth loss.
At Tijuana Bariatrics, we offer effective gum disease treatment to address the condition and restore the health of the teeth and gums. Periodontal care and restorative dentistry treatments can improve your overall oral health. Contact our practice in Tijuana, Mexico, to find out how we can help you achieve a beautiful and healthy smile.
Symptoms of Gum Disease
Gum disease is progressive. Swollen and bleeding gums are the initial symptoms of this infection.
At this stage of the disease, gingivitis, the infection is reversible with daily bruising, flossing, and a professional dental cleaning.
However, when left untreated, it can progress into periodontitis, a more serious condition in which tooth loss is a real threat.
Diagnosing Gum Disease
Our office will need to determine the severity of your condition before recommending a treatment plan. During a consultation at our practice, we will:
- Review your medical history to identify what is causing your symptoms
- Examine your mouth to see how severe the plaque and tartar buildup is
- Measure pocket depth by the distance the gums have receded. This is performed by placing a periodontal probe next to your tooth and measuring the distance to the supporting bone. A pocket depth of one to three millimeters indicates healthy gums. A symptom of mild periodontitis is a pocket deeper than four millimeters, while six millimeters or more denotes moderate to advanced disease.
- Take dental x-rays to check for possible bone loss.
Non-surgical Gum Treatments
A variety of procedures can halt or reverse gum disease. In the early or mild stages, non-surgical procedures are preferred as long as damage has not affected the supporting structures under the gum line.
In more advanced stages, surgery is most often required. If the disease has not advanced, then treatment may include less invasive procedures like:
- Scaling and root planing: This is a deep dental cleaning that eliminates tartar and bacteria from the surface of the tooth and below your gums. The root surfaces are then smoothed to prevent further plaque, tartar, and bacteria from reattaching.
- Antibiotics: An antibiotic solution may be administered below the gum line to target the source of infection. Oral antibiotics may be recommended as well.
Surgical Gum Treatments
Scaling and root planing is not effective for advanced periodontal disease. In these cases, surgery will be necessary. Here are some of the surgical options available for treating gum disease:
- Flap surgery (pocket reduction surgery): During this procedure, incisions are created along the gum line and the tissue is moved back from the teeth. This exposes the roots, allowing the surgeon to visualize and debride problematic areas. Finally, the gum tissue will be sutured back into place.
- Soft tissue grafts: Receding gums will need to have the damaged soft tissue reinforced. To do this, your surgeon can remove a small amount of tissue from the roof of the mouth and attach it to the affected gums.
- Bone grafting: Diseased tissue is removed from the pocket and a bone grafting material is added to the area of deficiency. The gums are then stitched into place to tightly support the teeth. Reducing the depth of the pocket will make it easier to clean the teeth while the graft prevents tooth loss by holding it tightly in place.
Once periodontal treatment is complete, you will need to maintain your progress through regular dental cleanings. Most periodontal patients require more frequent hygiene visits to keep the disease under control.
Gum disease will progressively get worse without immediate treatment. At Tijuana Bariatrics, we offer many options to treat and control periodontal disease. Contact us online or call us at 800-308-3607 to start your treatment.