Gum disease can be a major problem if left unchecked. When not treated properly, the disease can cause serious mouth problems, including tooth decay and an increased likelihood of mouth cancer. If your dentist has identified you as a victim of gum disease, there are several treatments available. While your dentist will discuss the best options for your situation, you will find an overview of the risks and benefits of the most common gum disease treatment options below.
Whenever possible, gum disease should be treated in a non-surgical manner. Doing a deep cleaning on the teeth is usually the most cost effective procedure while also being the least invasive. A deep cleaning typically involves scaling and root planing, which removes plaque and tartar more effectively than typical brushing and flossing. Root planing also smoothes out root surfaces, eliminating periodontal pockets that serve as a breeding ground for bacteria. Typically, going through this procedure eliminates gum disease in most patients, although regular maintenance must still be performed to make sure it does not return. However, this solution might not treat more advanced stages of the disease.
In extreme cases of gum disease, surgical intervention may be needed. In the case of surgery, the dentist pulls back the infected gum tissue in order to work on restoring lost tissue and bone. The can sometimes include artificial membranes or the addition of bone grafts, depending on the level of damage. In other cases, excess tissue and bone may be shaped to expose the natural tooth better, improving your overall smile. Surgical procedures do tend to be costly, so you should double check to see whether your insurance plan covers them. You should also be sure that you are not at risk of complications from the anesthesia. If you are suffering badly, however, this might be a necessary step to take.
In cases where tooth loss has already occurred, you may be a candidate for a dental implant. An implant is an artificial tooth that is attached to the jawbone in order to restore a damaged smile. In cases where an implant is needed, a nonsurgical approach is usually taken first to help eliminate gum disease and avoid possible infection. From there, the implant is placed in a series of procedures over the course of several weeks. Placing an implant involves drilling into the jawbone and setting an artificial root, then placing the cap once the jaw has healed. While this is a time-consuming and costly procedure, it is also the best way to restore a damaged smile in as permanent a way as possible.
The best treatment for gum disease is prevention, and techniques to help prevent gum disease can help even when you are undergoing other treatments. By brushing and flossing regularly, you are helping to kill bacteria and prevent your infection from getting any worse as described on this Blog article. That will help reduce the need for surgery later on and help your dentist treat the disease using one of the techniques presented above.