Understanding Gingivitis, Periodontal Disease and Gum Surgery
In Latin, the term “periodontics” translates to “around the tooth”, and dentists who practice this specialty are responsible for treating all of the different supporting structures of your teeth. This includes your gums, which can develop gum disease necessitating gum surgery, along with the bone line of your jaw (the alveolar), the cementum, and the various periodontal ligaments that connect all these tissues together.
The most common form of gum disease, and likely one you have heard of before, is the condition known as gingivitis. Gingivitis is caused by plaque building up on your teeth, and gradually migrating below your gum line into the tissue surrounding them. These toxic bacteria can then cause your body to initiate an inflammatory response, which has the unfortunate side effect of causing the body to break down its own healthy bone and soft tissues. Left untreated for too long, gum disease can spread and require gum surgery to fully treat.
Here are some common types of periodontal disease:
Progressive loss of tooth attachment as the pockets within gums gradually enlarge. The most common form of gum disease.
This form of periodontal disease is mainly characterized by its extremely rapid progression.
Most commonly seen in patients suffering from another systemic condition such as HIV or immunosuppressive issues, this periodontal disease results in necrosis occurring in gum, jaw, and ligament tissue.
Thankfully, there are several treatment options available within the field of periodontics to treat these conditions, both surgical and non-surgical. In a procedure known as scaling, the tartar and bacteria which initially caused the infection are removed and sterilized. Grafting procedures can encourage gum tissue re-growth and regeneration. Gum pockets can be filled in and significantly reduced in size. Implants can help restore any lost functionality of your mouth due to bone degeneration or tooth loss.
Another thing to be thankful for is the fact that good, preventative oral health care and maintenance can often eliminate the underlying problems which can eventually lead to full-blown periodontal disease. A major concern with gingivitis and other periodontal related conditions is that they are progressive in nature which means they get worse and worse the longer they are left untreated.
Which treatment option makes the most sense for you will depend on your particular dental health condition. Talk with your Den-Care Smile Center dentist about the different periodontal procedures that may be available to treat your teeth and gums, and work with them to make the right choice based on your personal needs and circumstance.