Periodontics: Gum Diseases
Periodontal diseases are one of the most common dental problems adults face, but periodontitis can begin at about any age. Gum diseases often develop subtly and painlessly. A person can remain asymptomatic until the disease has reached an advanced state where teeth are compromised and at a risk for loss. Fortunately, periodontal diseases can almost always be prevented if treated promptly and in early stages.
Gums are just as important as teeth to have a radiant smile. Basically, gum diseases often start with redness or bleeding on the gums. This is called gingivitis. Inflammation can then spread to the adjacent bone and this is called periodontitis. This is when teeth become loose and infected. Be careful and get your teeth examined regularly. Periodontal diseases begin with plaque. Plaque is clear, sticky and full of germs. It naturally forms on your teeth every day. If plaque is not removed by daily brushing, it hardens and turns to tartar, which then cannot be removed by everyday means anymore and has to be tended to by a dentist. Tartar can lead to an infection in the area where gums are attached to the teeth.
The next stage is early periodontitis, which is diagnosed when the infection has spread from gums to the jawbone and bacteria has formed pockets between the gums and the teeth. If untreated, these pockets grow and gums can recede to the point where the root is exposed.
The third stage is called moderate periodontitis. At this point, the root can clearly be seen and up to the third of the bone has been lost.
The fourth stage is called severe periodontitis, which occurs when more than half the bone has been lost and when infection pockets have become very deep. Teeth look longer since the root is exposed. They also become looser and can even fall off is not extracted by a dentist.
To prevent such diseases, daily flossing and brushing your teeth twice a day is recommended. Visits to the dentist are also an important part of a good oral hygiene.
A gum tissue graft helps to thicken and widen the remaining gums. It is a restorative and preventive treatment used to strengthen gum tissue and to protect the teeth. Call us for more information on this treatment.
The dental surgeon makes a small incision where the graft is required. After cleaning the area, the graft is placed between the bone and the gum. Once it is in place, the area is stitched up.
Note that instructions given following the treatment are to be followed carefully.
Among other things, bone grafting is used to reverse dental bone loss or destruction caused by periodontal diseases. When teeth are extracted, the surrounding bone collapses. To preserve this bone for future treatments, a bone graft is often required. Ask us about the specifics and different applications of this treatment.
Bone grafting is a surgical procedure used to regenerate bones and stimulate their growth. During the operation, the dentist will clean the site and place the graft. After the procedure, the area will be patched up using dissolvable stiches. A follow-up appointment will have to be taken one week after the operation.
Noticeable improvement of the bone structure can be seen by x-rays as early as a month after surgery.