The required nature of gum disease treatment depends on the stage of the disease. Suppose you’ve had gum diseases for a long period; certain treatments, especially home treatments, will no longer be effective. Data shows that nearly 50% of adults above 30 years have some form of gum disease. This is why you need to have regular checks on your oral health status.
Diagnosis is the first stage of treatment. Before you know whether you require a surgical or non-surgical procedure, you will need to ascertain the intensity of the disease. Sometimes, all you really need is a tooth extraction or dental removal. However, other times, you may need more than that.
Therefore, knowledge of the treatment types and diagnosis procedures is important. This article is a detailed guide on the diagnosis and treatment of gum diseases. Continue reading to learn more.
Diagnosis of Gum Diseases
Professionals are generally responsible for the diagnosis of gum diseases. They achieve this by looking for symptoms associated with gum diseases through some methods. This diagnosis usually occurs during normal checkups or in cases where you approach the dentist upon experiencing some symptoms.
The methods used by dentists and the relevant symptoms include:
Measure the Gum
One method used by dentists involves measuring the pocket depths around your teeth. This is usually done with a periodontal probe. Once your pocket falls within 1 millimeter and 3 millimeters, your gum is deemed to be healthy. However, once it exceeds this, the patient is deemed to have gum disease.
Thanks to the increased relevance of imaging systems in medicine, dental X-rays are now a popular method to identify gum diseases. This X-ray, usually bitewing X-ray, allows the dentist to identify the underlying bone’s level. Also, it allows the dentist to identify whether there has been a loss of bone to periodontal diseases.
Examine Sensitive Teeth
Another method used by dentists is to examine sensitive teeth. Usually, a sensitive tooth or gum line is an indication of receding gum. Through this examination, the dentist can then decide which case and recommend viable treatments.
Identify Loose Teeth
Loose teeth are usually an indication of incorrect bite or bone loss. By examining the teeth, the dentist can determine whether it is loose and the reasons for such. They can then conclude about the existence of gum disease or otherwise.
Check the Gums
The gums are a vital aspect of the teeth. As such, checking the gum is an effective way to determine the existence of gum diseases. Usually, the dentist will look out for swollen, bleeding, or red gums. In any of these cases, that is a sufficient indication of gum disease.
Non-surgical Treatments for Gum Disease
You can either have a non-surgical treatment or a surgical treatment. For non-surgical treatments, you do not need to undergo surgery before you address your gum issues. Several clinics offer numerous non-surgical treatments that are tailored to refine your mouth.
Some of the non-surgical treatments that you can opt for include:
Professional Dental Cleaning
This involves regular dental cleaning, only that professionals perform the task in this case. The professional, your dental hygienist or dentist, will remove existing tartar and plaque from your below and above your teeth’ gum line. Usually, these materials that build up on your tooth surface are only removable through professional cleaning, which is what this treatment involves.
Generally, this procedure is adopted twice a year. However, in some cases where you begin to exhibit symptoms of gum disease, the dentist might require you to undergo professional dental cleaning more times. This is because studies have shown that they are an essential measure for the prevention of gum diseases. However, keep in mind that dental cleaning is not an effective treatment for gum diseases once contracted.
Scaling and Root Planing
This is another non-surgical procedure that involves scraping tartar and plaque from below and above the gum line (scaling). On the other hand, rough spots present in the tooth root get smoothened (planing). This deep-cleaning procedure is usually done under local anesthetic.
Planing is vital as it allows the dentist to remove bacteria from your tooth roots. In turn, there is an accommodating and clean surface for your gums to get reattached to your teeth. This procedure is vital where the periodontist or dentist decides that you have calculus (hardened plaque) or normal plaque below your gum that needs to come off.
Surgical Treatments for Gum Disease
While there are non-surgical procedures, certain cases require surgery. These cases fall under surgical treatments for gum disease, and you will need to exercise care and caution before choosing your clinic. Surgical procedures are incisive and offer more in-depth solutions. They are also best suited for gum diseases that have gone on for long or cases where your teeth’ surrounding tissue is unhealthy and incapable of repair through non-surgical procedures.
This procedure is relevant where your bone has been destroyed or damaged by gum diseases. In turn, treatment involves applying fragments of your bone, donated bone, or synthetic bone to replace existing bone that gum diseases have damaged. This bone graft then serves as the base for the growth of new bones, which welcomes stability.
Also, thanks to recent advancements in technology, there is more advanced tissue engineering. This process encourages your body to regenerate tissues and bones at an increased rate, restoring much-needed stability.
Flap Surgery or Pocket Reduction Surgery
This procedure involves the dentist lifting your gum to remove the tartar located there. Also, where necessary, the dentist smoothens irregular surfaces of damaged bones to ensure there is less area available for bacteria to collect and grow. In turn, this ensures that further contamination resulting in gum diseases is prevented.
Once this has been done, the dentist then places the gum back to fit tightly around your tooth. The goal of this procedure is to remove the space between your tooth and gum. In turn, there is no space where harmful bacteria can collect and grow. This way, there is a decreased chance of periodontal diseases or any health problems associated with it.
This is another common procedure that is relevant in cases of bone loss, either moderate or advanced. Under this procedure, the dentist smoothens some shallow craters into the bone. Afterward, flap surgery occurs, then the craters are reduced by reshaping the bone around the teeth. Following this, it becomes difficult for bacteria to grow in that area.
Soft Tissue Grafts
This procedure is relevant where the gum is thin and weak or has receded. With this procedure, thin gums get reinforced while the receding gums get filled. This procedure is achieved using grafted tissue taken from the mouth’s roof. This grafted tissue is then stitched to the affected or damaged area, providing additional support.
Guided Tissue Regeneration
This procedure is relevant in cases where there is damage to the bone supporting the teeth. The goal of this procedure is to stimulate the growth of gum tissue and bone. This procedure is usually done in combination with the flap surgery earlier discussed.
Under this procedure, mesh-like clothing gets inserted between the gum tissue and bone. This small piece ensures that the gum tissue does not grow into an area where the bone will grow. In turn, the connective tissue and bone can enjoy a better growth that effectively supports the teeth.
Relevant Drugs For Treating Gum Disease
Treating gum diseases involves using antibiotic drugs. For some treatment procedures, you can use these drugs alone, while for some others, the drugs must be combined with surgical processes. Typically, the purpose of the drug is to eliminate or reduce the bacteria that causes the gum disease in question. In some other cases, it reduces the destruction of your tooth’s connection to the bone.
Regardless of the situation, antibiotics have become increasingly relevant in combating gum diseases. Some of the relevant antibiotics include Chlorhexidine.
Chlorhexidine is one of the most popular antibiotics. It is used to combat gingivitis and plaque in periodontal pockets or the mouth. Today, it is marketed by various brands like Peridex, PerioGard, and PerioChip. Note that these brands are prescription-only brands. However, other brands market over-the-counter versions of it.
You can get this drug in its mouth rinse form. Alternatively, you can get it as a gelatin-contained chip that gets placed into your periodontal pockets following root planing. This option is considered somewhat more effective as it releases the medication over a longer period, usually seven days.
Other antibiotics relevant to treating gum diseases include tetracycline, minocycline (Arestin), and doxycycline. However, remember that their use should be based on a recommendation by your dentist. Some toothpaste also contains antibacterial and antibiotic substances like fluoride and triclosan. They are also useful in combating gingivitis and plaque.
How To Choose The Right Clinic For Your Procedures
Gum disease treatment requires diligence, especially surgical treatments. Also, the surgical procedure can be cost-intensive depending on certain factors. As such, a patient must make informed choices to maximize their money for getting excellent results. This makes it important to understand the necessary factors to consider before choosing a dental clinic.
Experience and Training
You will need to also pay attention to the training and experience of the clinic and its dentist. You should consider only clinics that have long practice and have recorded considerable success over the years. You can also confirm this through patient testimonials.
This is to ensure that you opt for a clinic that can deliver the best treatment. Also, remember to opt for clinics that boast of ongoing training. This ensures you are not left out of recent development when it comes to dental treatments.
You need to consider the medical facility used by the dental clinic. You need to ensure that it boasts state-of-the-art technology in the field of dental treatment. This is vital if you want to enjoy a timely and effective treatment. So, ensure you request information about the technology in use.
You will also need to consider the customer service offered by the clinic. This is extremely important to enjoy the best experience. You need a dentist that will pay attention to every detail concerning your wellbeing. You also want a clinic where their staff is friendly. So, confirm all these before making your choice.
You need to remember that research is important to get the best option. The good news is that the internet has simplified this process. So, you can do this from the comfort of your room.
Preparing For Your Gum Disease Treatment
As with any treatment procedure, you need to prepare your mind and body before your treatment starts. Knowing these core tips will aid your treatment and ensure you make the most of it. Here are some of the things to keep in mind as you begin this journey.
Prepare For Your Appointment
You must prepare for your appointment. This is necessary to have a more productive time with the dentist. To achieve this, ensure you note the following before going.
- Symptoms that you might be experiencing, including those that you believe, are unrelated.
- Your vital personal information; for instance, any pre-existing medical condition
- Current medications
- Questions about the procedure. Relevant questions will include the type of tests needs, preventive steps, and general recommendations for improved dental health.
Prepare For Questions
Unless they are not a professional, there are some questions you should expect to get from your dentist. This is to ensure that they better understand your condition and recommend the appropriate treatments. So, ensure that you prepare for these questions.
Some of these questions include:
- When you started experiencing the symptoms
- If your symptoms are occasional or continuous
- How often you brush your teeth
- If you use dental floss, and where yes, how often you do
- How often you see your dentist
- Existing medical conditions
- Medications currently in use
Getting excellent results from your dental treatments requires taking the right steps and having the right information. This reinforces your choices and ensures you have seamless processes. More importantly, the best way to avoid intense gum diseases is by adequately taking care of your oral health. This will save you from unprecedented expenses without compromising your mouth aesthetics.
Habeebullah Asudemade is an expert in the medical field with over four years of experience writing medical articles reviewed by medical practitioners. He has undergone numerous courses in the medical space, which strengthen his knowledge base on the sector. His articles are targeted at helping people understand their health better to make informed choices. Currently writing for Bond St Dental.