Periodontal Disease Treatment
Great Falls, MT
Periodontal disease, more commonly referred to as gum disease, is a serious, and progressive, oral health issue. The longer the disease goes untreated, the worse it becomes. Your oral health deteriorates, your overall health is put at risk, and you can even be faced with tooth loss. At River's Edge Dental, we can help to restore your oral health with periodontal disease treatment.
How Periodontal Disease Progresses
Periodontal disease is a progressive disease. It is caused by the oral bacteria in your mouth. Throughout the day, the bacteria feast on lingering food particles and sugars and multiply rapidly. Brushing and flossing are essential for keeping the number of bacteria down. Neglecting your oral healthcare routine can lead to an excess buildup. Even if you brush and floss regularly, you may miss certain areas, which can lead to a buildup in these spaces. The bacteria irritate your gums, which triggers an inflammatory response. This causes your gums to swell, and they pull away from their snug position against your teeth, forming pockets. Bacteria and other debris fall below the gum line. Once there, they cannot be removed by brushing and flossing. The bacteria continue to attack your gums, as well as your jawbone and periodontal ligaments. The pockets deepen, your gums recede, and your teeth can become loose. Eventually, you may even suffer tooth loss.
Scaling and Root Planing
Scaling and root planing is essentially a deep cleaning for your teeth, designed to remove plaque, tartar (hardened plaque), bacteria, and other debris from the surfaces of your teeth and along the surfaces of your tooth roots. Scaling involves the cleaning of the surfaces of your teeth, with a special focus on the gum line. Scaling involves smoothing the surfaces of the roots of your teeth, making it more difficult for bacteria to adhere. With your teeth cleaned, your gums can begin to heal.
For scaling and root planing to be effective, we need to clean every surface of your teeth and their roots. Any lingering bacteria can quickly lead to further destruction of your gums, bone, and periodontal ligaments. Sometimes, however, your gums may be too inflamed for us to properly clean your teeth. In this case, the infected tissue needs to be removed. This used to be done with a scalpel, which led to bleeding, swelling, and pain. Today, we use a special dental laser to remove infected tissue. With a laser, your tissues are cauterized as we cut (stopping most of the bleeding). The laser also means that there is significantly less pain and swelling following the procedure. Once the infected tissue is gone, we can effectively clean your teeth.
Pocket Reduction Surgery
Pockets form as a result of swollen gums. Bacteria fall into these pockets and get trapped. As the bacteria attack from below the gum line, the gums continue to swell, and the pockets grow deeper. When the pockets are too deep, we cannot effectively clean them with our tools. Pocket reduction surgery enables us to reach all the way to the bottom of the pockets. The procedure involves making incisions in your gums to expose the roots of the teeth. We then have the access we need to thoroughly clean your teeth. Once clean, your gums are sutured closed, and you can begin healing.
Soft Tissue and Bone Grafting
Advanced stages of the periodontal disease lead to both gum recession and bone loss in the jaw. Bone loss can be furthered if you lose teeth due to periodontal disease. A soft tissue graft is performed to restore a healthy gum line. The procedure involves taking soft tissue from elsewhere in your mouth (usually the roof) and suturing it over the areas of recession. As you heal, the tissues reform their tight seal around the necks of your teeth.
A bone graft is performed to restore missing bone mass. With this procedure, bone mass is taken from elsewhere in your body (or from a donor) and placed in the areas of weakness, restoring the strength to your jaw. If you have lost teeth, bone grafts enable you to have the dental implants placed.
If you suspect you have periodontal disease or have been told that you have it, don’t delay your treatment. Contact River's Edge Dentall today at (406) 315-5882 to schedule your consultation.