Gum Diseases And Their Treatments

February is National Gum Diseases Awareness month and we are committed to creating awareness about gum diseases and their treatment along with what can one do to prevent them. This blog is one of the many initiatives from Ensure Dental Care in educating our readers and patients about gum diseases and the different treatments that are available.  We have addressed issues of gum health and gum care in many of our previous blogs like Ways to keep gums healthy, Diabetes and Gum disease, Healthy Gums, A Ready Reckoner for Gingivitis where we have explored different aspects of gum health and care. We will encourage you to read those along with this blog so that you can get to know the importance of healthy gums, type of gum diseases, causes and symptoms of gum diseases and what oral hygiene practices you can employ to prevent them.  

Gum diseases – a brief overview 

If you have read any of the above-mentioned blogs you would already know that gum diseases are caused by plaque build-up on our teeth. The initial stage of gum inflammation is known as gingivitis. Gingivitis is preventable with good oral hygiene. Common symptoms at this stage are red swollen bleeding gums, bad breath and loose teeth. Gingivitis is also reversible and hence it is advisable that one must go to a dentist as soon as one observes any of these symptoms and get treated to be rid of the disease. If left untreated it develops into what is known as periodontitis. What starts as inflammation of the gums can spread to the bones and the soft tissues surrounding the teeth. The initial stages of periodontitis is easily curable if detected in time. Because it is generally painless it is not so easy to detect. Only regular dental visits can help detect it fast enough to be able to treat it.   

Treatments of gum diseases 

Depending on the stage of the gum disease the treatments will vary. There are non-surgical and surgical treatments available today for the treatment of gum diseases. 

Non-surgical treatments 

  1. Teeth cleaning by the dentist – Plaque can be easily removed by regular brushing and flossing however if not cleaned it can harden into what is known as tartar. Tartar is difficult to remove using only a brush or a floss and needs an intervention from the dentist. Only a professional dentist can remove tartar properly. Even if you brush and floss regularly there is always a chance that some plaque would have hardened into tartar so one must go for a thorough dental cleaning to the dentist at least twice a year. In case of a gum disease in initial stages the dentist may advise more than 2 dental cleanings a year. Cleaning of teeth is really speaking a preventive treatment and not an actual cure of a gum disease. 
  1. Deep cleaning also called as scaling and root planing – This involves removal of plaque and tartar using instruments called scalers which are used to scrape the tartar from above and below the gum line. Root planing involves smoothening the tooth roots so that the gums can reattach themselves to the root easily. This procedure is done under local anesthesia. Do read our blog on Dental Anesthesia to know more. 

Surgical treatments  

In case of severe cases surgical procedures may be need to be done to protect bone loss caused by the gum diseases. These procedures include – 

  1. Flap surgery – During this procedure a trained periodontist and an oral surgeon will clean the roots of the teeth and repair the bone damage caused by the gum disease. This procedure results in reducing the gap between the gum and the tooth thereby reducing the area where bad bacteria can grow.  
  1. Bone and soft tissue grafts – If the gums have receded then some tissue is taken from the roof of the mouth and grafted on the thin gums to reinforce them. In case of a bone graft the bone which has been destroyed by the gum disease is grafted with synthetic, donated or fragments of bones of the patient himself. Such grafts facilitate the regrowth of the damaged bone. 
  1. Bone surgery – In case of moderate to severe bone loss, this surgery is done to reduce and smoothen the craters on the remaining bone so that there is no space available for bad bacteria to grow, 
  1. Tissue regeneration – In case of total bone loss a new procedure called guided tissue regeneration is used. In this procedure a small mesh fabric is inserted between the gum and the bone so that the gum tissue does not invade the area where the bone should be. This procedure stimulates bone and gum tissue growth.  

Besides these treatments dentist will also give antibiotics to kill the bad bacteria already in the mouth which are causing the inflammation. Medicated mouthwashes may also be recommended by the dentist along with antibacterial toothpastes to be used post any of these procedures with the objective of reducing the plaque and symptoms of gum disease.  

We hope you learnt something new after reading this blog. Please share it with your family and friends if you liked it. For any dental queries, you can always call Ensure Dental Care on 940-274-3229. You can also schedule an appointment with us. Ensure Dental Care offers emergency dental services. Regardless of your issue we offer same day emergency treatments. We entertain walk ins also. 

We are the family dentist near you. Ensure Dental Care is the one of the best family dental clinics at Saginaw Texas. We accept all major insurance providers. We also have in house payment plan. We have a very experienced and professional team of dental practitioners and we look forward to serving you to the best of our abilities. 

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