When gum disease becomes advanced, you could lose teeth, develop bone loss, and have chronic infections in the gum pockets. A periodontist treats advanced gum disease in different ways. When your gums have receded, and you've had bone loss, regenerative procedures may be necessary. These treatments restore your gums to their natural shape and increase bone mass in your jaw. Here are some regenerative procedures your periodontist might recommend.
Gum Graft Surgery
In the early stages of gum disease, it may be possible to deep clean your teeth to get rid of bacteria and control the gum disease. Once the gums have pulled away from the teeth, other treatments are needed because the roots of your teeth could be exposed, and that can cause pain and lead to infections. A gum graft surgery could be the treatment your dentist recommends. To do this, the dentist grafts new tissue to your gums to restore their volume and to cover the roots of your teeth. This can also help improve your smile when gum recession affects your front teeth.
The tissue used for the graft is taken from the roof of your mouth, obtained from a donor bank, or taken from nearby healthy gum tissue. This procedure is done in your dentist's office and requires several days of recovery where you have to eat soft foods so the gums can heal. This regenerative surgery can be done alone or in combination with a bone graft.
Your bone can be affected by gum disease too. When the bone gets thin, the risk of tooth loss increases. If you've already lost a tooth to gum disease, then that can increase the rate of bone loss due to a lack of bone stimulation in the area. Building up your bone could be important to stop tooth loss or to create a more stable foundation for a restorative dental implant. To do this procedure, the periodontist makes an incision in your gum to access the bone. Then, infection is cleared away to prepare the bone for the graft.
The bone graft is usually a powder, gel, or granules that are synthetic, animal, or from a human donor. The graft can also be taken from your own bone. Once the graft is in place, it's covered with mesh to secure it and your gum is stitched back in place. The graft and mesh encourage bone growth, and your bone will gradually get thicker and stronger in the following months.
Gum disease can become a serious issue for you, so you shouldn't ignore signs of gum inflammation or bleeding when you brush. Healthy gums are necessary for healthy teeth and a nice smile. Caring for your gums is important, but if gum disease develops, a periodontist has treatments that can help control the disease and restore its damage.