WHAT IS PERIODONTAL DISEASE?

Periodontal disease is an infection that affects the gums. The infection, caused by bacteria causes redness, inflammation, and swelling but can be completely painless. Periodontal disease is usually the second stage of gum disease following gingivitis. Because it is painless, the disease often goes unnoticed till severe bone loss occurs and the teeth start getting loose. The condition might affect a single tooth or a number of teeth in a row.

Symptoms

Contact your dentist if you experience any of these symptoms:

  1. Redness or swelling of gums
  2. Bleeding from the gums
  3. Gums retracting from the teeth
  4. The forming of pus in the area where the gum is attached to the tooth
  5. Teeth start getting loose

Periodontal disease, if treated early enough, can be cured, but if delayed, you could lose several teeth and the infection could spread to the bone. Do not hesitate to schedule a consultation if you have any of the above-mentioned symptoms.

TREATMENT FOR PERIODONTAL DISEASE

Periodontal disease is an advanced form of gum disease and is best treated with surgery. At Smooth Dental Group, Dr. Elizabeth Tran is a fully trained, experienced provider in periodontal surgery. Dr. Tran will first examine you thoroughly and assess your condition. She will then inform you if you require surgery and will answer any and all questions you might have. Dr. Tran is extremely careful and very systematic; she will consider your full medical history before starting you on any course of treatment.

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If you are a candidate for periodontal surgery, Dr. Tran will instruct you on the full procedure and any tests or treatment you will require. The first stage of treating periodontal disease is to get the infection under control. Your teeth and gums will be thoroughly cleaned and the infection treated. After treating the infection, the damage caused to the gums and bones will be treated surgically.

When treating periodontal disease with surgery, it is important to know there are different types of surgical options. The doctor will determine which treatment option is best for you, based on a thorough evaluation of your condition.

Flap surgery, bone grafting, soft tissue grafts and laser surgery are all different treatment options for surgically addressing periodontal disease, once any infection has been treated. In flap surgery, the doctor makes small incisions in your gum, lifting sections of tissue. Tartar and bacteria are then removed and the gums are sutured back.

Bone grafting is often performed when gum disease has damaged the bone surrounding the root of the teeth. Bone grafting can be performed using small parts of your own bone, a donated bone or using a synthetic bone. This treatment can help prevent tooth loss and can even promote natural bone regrowth.

Soft tissue grafts involve the use of various grafting procedures, obtaining tissue from different sources and re-attaching them where needed. New gum tissue can then grow and develop upon the graft. This procedure is usually performed with local anesthesia. The doctor will provide you with special cleaning instructions afterwards to prevent further infection. Ibuprofen or a similar medication may be prescribed for any discomfort experienced from the procedure.

Laser Surgery or laser therapy, is performed through the use of a dental laser to access and remove the inflamed gum tissue from around the root of the tooth. Once the infected tissue is removed, the doctor will perform root scaling. Built up tartar and plaque below the gum line and around the root will be scraped off. Any rough spots on the root are smoothed out helping to prevent the attraction of further bacteria and infection. During the healing process the area between the gum and the root can regenerate. Benefits of periodontal laser therapy include, limited pain, bleeding and swelling, faster recovery and healing times, no general anesthetic is needed and the laser can precisely target the diseased areas.

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POST SURGERY CARE

Please inform the doctor if you are in any pain or discomfort after the procedure. Anti-inflammatory medication and painkillers can be prescribed to help ease your condition. The doctor will also give you all the instructions you need regarding oral and dental hygiene and post-operative care. Follow up visits will also be scheduled to assure the full success of your treatment.

If you wish to find out more about treatments for periodontal disease, or if you would like to schedule a consultation, please give us a call or make an appointment online.