Gum disease remains the leading cause of tooth loss in the United States, according to the National Institutes of Health. While early stages of gum disease can be treated with dental cleanings and improved oral hygiene, some advanced stages of periodontitis may require surgery. No matter how advanced your gum disease is, Rod Gleave, D.M.D. can diagnose and treat your gum disease.
Three Stages of Gum Disease
Gum disease results from the interaction between bacteria, plaque, and food particles. The presence of bacteria eventually leads to inflammation of gum tissue. Gum disease has three basic stages.
- Gingivitis: This early stage of gum disease is fairly common among adults. Symptoms include inflammation of gum tissue and a tendency for gums to bleed during brushing. Dental cleanings and good oral hygiene habits can address this mild form of gum disease.
- Periodontitis: As early stages of gum disease progress to periodontitis, the supporting bone and fibers that support your teeth can become damaged. Regular dental cleanings or deep cleanings at our dental practice can treat this more advanced stage of gum disease.
- Advanced Periodontitis: When periodontitis is not treated, it eventually advances to advanced periodontitis. This serious condition leads to irreversible damage to gums, teeth, and the supporting structures of teeth. Patients with advanced periodontitis often experience oral pain. Patients who experience prolonged periodontitis risk losing one or more teeth.
Patients who require oral surgery to address periodontitis are most often in the advanced stage of periodontitis.
Benefits of Periodontal Surgery
Periodontal surgery is often a last resort, but there can be many oral health benefits for individuals who undergo the procedure under the skilled hands of Dr. Gleave. A few of these benefits include:
- Preservation of bone and gum tissue
- Restoration of damaged gums
- Prevention of tooth loss
- Elimination of swollen gums
- Better long-term oral health outcomes
- Elimination of gum tissue infection
- Lower risk for tooth loss
- A more attractive smile
A Look at the Periodontal Surgery Procedure
One question Dr. Gleave is often asked is, “When is periodontal surgery needed?” During your examination, Dr. Gleave will closely examine your gums. Patients who have deep pockets of infection in their gums may require oral surgery to restore oral health. Periodontal surgery is often performed to prevent the need for tooth extraction. The most common form of periodontal surgery is known as flap surgery.
The safe and straightforward procedure is performed using local anesthesia and sedation. Dr. Gleave will make incisions in the gums to access deep pockets of infection. Once the infected areas have been cleaned, the gums will be stitched together to fit around the teeth in an aesthetically pleasing manner.
Other procedures that may be required for patients who have advanced periodontitis include:
- Bone grafting
- Guided tissue regeneration
- Tissue grafting
- Laser treatments
Following treatment, you will be provided with detailed recovery guidelines that are to be followed closely. Recovery times vary depending on how expensive your surgery will be. Dr. Gleave will provide you with pain medications following your treatment. In general, we advise patients to:
- Use an antiseptic mouthwash to avoid infection
- Avoid strenuous exercise
- Eat soft foods for a few days
- Not smoke
A follow-up appointment will be scheduled in the weeks after surgery.
Schedule Your Periodontal Treatment Today
Patients who undergo periodontal surgery can expect to enjoy long-term positive oral health outcomes. With proper oral hygiene habits, you can prevent the return of gum disease. To schedule your gum disease treatment, please contact our office online or call (801) 747-8531.