So you found out that you have gum disease. What is next you say? Well, at this point, it is important that you acquaint yourself with the different treatments for gum disease. The best thing to do is to ask your dentist some questions, but of course learning about the procedures on your own will not hurt either.
The treatments for gum disease can either be non-surgical or surgical: it all depends on how serious the disease is. Take note though that regardless of the treatment recommended to you, the main aim of your dentist is to control the infection.
1. Professional Dental Cleaning: This is simply the removal of plaque and tartar from above and below the gum line. Remember, it is only the plaque that can be removed by brushing and flossing regularly. The tartar can only be removed by a professional dental cleaning. The regular dental cleaning takes place twice a year, but if your dentist sees signs of gum disease, he may increase the cleaning.
2. Scaling and Root Planning: This is a deep-cleaning procedure performed under local anaesthetic. Scaling scrapes away the plaque and tartar above and below the gum line, whereas planing refers to the process of making the rough spots on the tooth root smooth. These two procedures are done when you have plaque and tartar under gum tissue.
1. Flap Surgery: The gums are lifted back so as to allow for tartar removal. The gums are then placed back in such a way that they fit snugly around the tooth; thus, decreasing the possibility of bacteria growing into the pockets of the gums.
2. Bone Grafts: Fragments of bones are used to replace bones that have been destroyed by gum disease. These bone fragments can be your own, donated by others or synthetic. By putting bone grafts, the stability of the teeth is restored.
3. Soft Tissue Grafts: This is similar to bone grafts but instead of bone, it is the tissue that is stitched in place to replace the destroyed tissue in the gums that had receded.
4. Guided Tissue Regeneration: When the bone that supports the tooth is destroyed, this procedure enables bone and tissue growth through stimulation.
5. Bone Surgery: This is when there is moderate and advanced bone loss. The craters in the bone are smoothed out, and the bone around the tooth is reshaped to minimize the craters. In doing so, bacteria growth is minimized.
Almost all of these procedures can be done by a dentist near Dupont Circle, Washington DC, in the comforts of a dental office. Medication is also provided to help you relax during the treatment, as the dentist sees fit.
Treatments for gum disease may cause you some discomfort, but you need them if you do not want to make yourself more ill than you already are. So keep an open mind and say aaahh!