Gum disease begins with an infection from the buildup of plaque on the teeth and around the gums. When the first signs of gum disease are not treated, the condition can progress and eventually lead to the breakdown of the bone and connective tissues of the teeth. A dentist in Summerlin may treat or recommend a periodontist to treat gum disease through several methods.
The early stages of gum disease, such as gingivitis, can be reversed by ensuring that the teeth and gums are cleaned. Dental professionals use scaling and root planing to deliver a deep clean. Scaling involves the removal of tartar from below and above the gum line, and root planing eliminates rough spots on the roots of the teeth where germs collect. Some dentists and periodontists use lasers to remove tartar and plaque, resulting in less discomfort, bleeding and swelling than traditional cleaning methods.
In conjunction with scaling and root planing, medication could be used to treat gum disease, but this depends on the stage to which it has progressed. Oral antibiotics might be used as a short-term treatment for a persistent or acute infection. After a deep cleaning, antibiotic microspheres could be put into the pockets created by gum disease to reduce their size and control bacteria. An antibiotic gel or antiseptic chip might be used for the same purposes. An antimicrobial mouthwash could be prescribed to control bacteria and is used like a normal mouth rinse.
Different types of surgery, including plastic surgery, may be necessary for severe cases of gum disease. Following deep cleaning and medicating, flap surgery is a common procedure that could be performed to remove deposits of tartar in deep periodontal pockets or to reduce the size of the pockets so that it’s easier for the patient and dentist to clean the area. Plastic surgery may also be performed if the recession of the gums exposes the tooth root or if tooth loss causes indentations in the jawbone and gums. Root coverage procedures such as graft surgery can repair gum recession, while ridge augmentation can fill in jawbone and gum indentations.