Gum disease is no walk in the park, and if you’re dealing with the severe kind, known as periodontitis, you’re probably wondering what you can do about it. Don’t worry, though—we’ve got you covered. Thankfully, dentistry has come a long way in managing this issue, and there are several treatment options available to help you get back to flashing that healthy smile. So, let’s get through the ins and outs of tackling severe gum disease.
While surgery might sound like a major event, don’t sweat it—we’ve got some less invasive options that might do the trick. Here’s what they look like:
This isn’t your ordinary twice-a-year checkup clean. We’re talking about scaling and root planing, which is essentially a deep clean beneath your gum lines to remove plaque and tartar from the roots of your teeth. This can help reduce inflammation and improve the health of your gums.
In some cases, your dentist might recommend medications to help control the infection. These can range from antimicrobial mouthwashes to antibiotics, either in pill form or as a direct placement into the pockets of your gums.
The Road to Recovery: Surgical Interventions
Sometimes, when the situation is more advanced, surgery might be the best route to go for long-term health. Let’s look at what that might involve:
When deep cleaning isn’t enough, flap surgery (pocket reduction surgery) might be recommended. It involves making small incisions in your gum to lift back a section, providing access to remove tartar from below. The gums are then snugly fitted around your teeth to minimize the space where harmful bacteria can grow.
If gum recession is part of the problem, gum grafts might be the answer. Tissue is taken from elsewhere in your mouth (like the roof of your mouth) and attached to the areas where the gums have receded, which helps reduce further recession and bone loss.
When the bone supporting your teeth has been damaged, bone grafting can come to the rescue. This procedure involves placing material in areas where the bone has been lost, which encourages regeneration, providing a solid foundation for your teeth—or for dental implants if you’re missing any teeth.
Guided Tissue Regeneration
This technique is used in conjunction with flap surgery. It involves inserting a small piece of material between the bone and gum tissue to prevent unwanted tissue from entering the area, allowing your bone to grow back.
Lifestyle Changes for Better Gum Health
Treating severe gum disease isn’t just about what happens in the dental chair. Our lifestyle plays a massive role in our oral health, too. Here are some changes you might need to consider:
- Stop smoking: Smoking is a major contributor to gum disease, so quitting can have a significant impact on recovery.
- Improve your oral hygiene: Brush twice daily, floss regularly, and consider using an interdental brush or water flosser.
- Eat a healthy diet: Foods high in vitamins and minerals, like vegetables and lean proteins, can help your body fight off infection and repair damaged tissue.
- Regular dental checkups: Keep up with regular visits to your dentist Oakville, who can help you monitor your gum health and prevent future issues.
High-Tech Treatments at Your Disposal
With technology always improving, treatment for gum disease has become more sophisticated. Here’s a glimpse into more high-tech solutions:
Some dental professionals are now using lasers to remove tartar and plaque beneath the gum line. This method can be less painful and result in quicker healing times than traditional therapies.
Another modern approach involves applying a special gel to a diseased tooth root. This gel contains proteins that promote the growth of healthy gum tissue, which can help in the healing process.
When to See a Specialist
If you’ve tried the above treatments without success, it might be time to see a periodontist Oakville who is specifically trained in treating gum disease. They can provide more advanced care and help you decide the best course of action for your situation.
The Link Between Gum Disease and Other Health Issues
Gum disease is often not an isolated concern; it often walks hand-in-hand with other significant health complications:
- Heart Disease: Poor gum health can increase the risk of heart complications.
- Diabetes: Those with diabetes are more susceptible to infections, including periodontal disease.
- Stroke: Inflammation caused by gum disease could potentially contribute to blockages in the brain.
Paying for Your Gum Disease Treatment
Let’s face it: the cost can be a deal-breaker for some treatments. However, many dental insurance plans cover at least part of the cost of gum disease treatment. Be proactive and check with your insurance provider to understand what’s covered.
Battling severe gum disease can seem overwhelming, but a range of effective treatments await. The key is to seek qualified care for specialized procedures, like root canals or periodontal therapy, and commit to follow-up care. Post-treatment, sustaining good oral hygiene, and regular dental appointments are vital for lasting gum health. Embrace the proper treatment and upkeep, and you’ll be on your way to reclaiming a joyful, healthy smile.