Periodontitis, otherwise known as gum disease, is a severe gum infection that harms soft tissue and destroys the bone supporting your teeth. It can loosen teeth or cause tooth loss.
Periodontitis is a common but highly preventable disease. It usually results from inadequate dental hygiene. Your chances of getting it will greatly decrease if you brush and floss twice daily and come in for regular dental exams and cleanings.
We offer both surgical and nonsurgical procedures to treat periodontal diseases. These treatments are meant to fully clean the pockets around the affected teeth and stop the surrounding bone from becoming damaged. You will maximize your chances of a successful procedure when you practice good dental hygiene and avoid smoking.
Provided the periodontal disease has not yet reached an advanced stage; we can use less invasive procedures, such as scaling, root planing, and antibiotics. What follows is an explanation of each one.
~In scaling we remove bacteria and tartar from the surfaces of your teeth underneath the gums. We use instruments, lasers, and ultrasonic devices for scaling.
~Root planing is a method of smoothing out the root surfaces. By doing this, we prevent further formation of bacteria and tartar. Byproducts from bacteria can cause inflammation, delay the healing process, and hinder the gums from reattaching to the tooth surfaces. Root planing also eliminates these byproducts.
~We can control bacterial infections with topical and oral antibiotics. Topical antibiotics such as antibiotic gels and mouthwashes infiltrate the spaces in between your teeth and gums, but we may need oral antibiotics to eradicate bacteria.
If your case of periodontal disease has reached an advanced stage, we may need to employ surgical techniques. Here are some of the most commonly used ones:
~In flap surgery (also called pocket reduction surgery), Dr. Raptou will start by making small incisions in the gum. This is so he can lift back part of the gum tissue to uncover the tooth roots, allowing him to scale and root plane more easily. If you’ve lost too much bone from periodontitis, we may have to recontour the bone underneath the affected teeth before suturing the gums back into place. You’ll have a much easier time cleaning this area once you heal.
~Soft tissue graft procedures involve taking some tissue from your palate (the roof of your mouth) or another donor and grafting onto an area where the gumline has receded. The gumline recedes if you lose gum tissue, so we may need to reinforce damaged tissue. Grafting helps prevent gum recession, covers tooth roots, and enhances the appearance of your teeth.
~Bone grafts are needed if periodontal disease has compromised the bone underneath the tooth roots. The bone used for the graft is often donated, synthetic, or made up of small pieces of your bone. The graft holds the tooth in place and helps your natural bone to regrow.
~Guided tissue regeneration aids the regeneration of bone destroyed by bacteria. One method of this treatment involves placing biocompatible fabric between your tooth and the existing bone. This material helps the bone regrow while blocking undesirable tissue from forming in the affected area.
~Tissue-stimulating proteins contained within gels are also applied to diseased tooth roots. These proteins also appear in developing tooth enamel and aid the development of tissue and bone.
For more information, please contact our office at (614) 427-0449.