Gum disease, or periodontitis, is a serious dental health concern. Untreated gum disease may cause damage to your bone and soft tissue or even tooth loss. Fortunately, there is minimally invasive surgery and non-surgical treatment options available to address any stage of gum disease and restore your health and smile. The purpose of this article is to provide and understanding of these treatment options. With this basic understanding you can make an informed decision about treatments.
Minimally Invasive Surgery for Gum Disease
A slight case of gingivitis is normally reversible with a good cleaning and attentive home care to remove the plaque buildup. However, you may require more advanced treatment, even surgery, once gum disease has progressed and pockets of infection begin to form around your teeth. You might notice pain, swelling, and redness of the gums from gum disease. Loose teeth and receding gum lines are other signs to watch for.
Before treatment, Dr. Trujillo, a leading periodontist in Phoenix, will give you an exam and consultation to discuss your dental health and treatment options. Dr. Trujillo will explain the benefits and advantages and help you choose a minimally invasive gum surgery or non-surgery procedure. These are generally the options to choose from.
LANAP Laser Gum Surgery
Laser-Assisted New Attachment Procedure is one of the newest developments in laser gum surgery. The FDA cleared this treatment for use in 2004 and is an excellent treatment for periodontitis.
LANAP uses a laser to direct ultraviolet light to the diseased areas of your gums. The laser can distinguish between healthy tissue and infected tissue, and will only target the bad bacteria that need to be eliminated. The laser then kills the gum disease present in the deep pockets surrounding your teeth. Next, it closes the gap and creates new connective tissue. This encourages normal growth and the reattachment of your gums to your teeth.
There are many benefits of choosing LANAP. This procedure is almost entirely painless and has a fast recovery period. Treatments are normally done in two sessions that last about two hours each. In most cases, the laser takes care of the problem without the need for any incisions or stitches. There is also a lower risk of developing an infection.
LANAP reverses the effects of gum disease so you can heal completely. You have a better chance of keeping your teeth and even regenerating any lost bone tissue. Another benefit of LANAP is that most patients are candidates for the produce. Some other treatments have restrictions for various health issues.
Scaling and Root Planing
When gum disease progresses, the inflammation causes the gum tissue to pull away from the tooth, forming a pocket. These pockets may get too deep for a routine professional cleaning to eliminate all traces of gum disease. In these cases, scaling and root planing are necessary to eliminate periodontitis.
Scaling is the deep-cleaning procedure that involves the removal of accumulated plaque and tartar from below the gumline. A special dental tool reaches the bottom of the pocket to clean all traces of bacteria.
After the scaling procedure comes root planing. This refers to the smoothing of the root of the tooth. Root planing helps to prevent future bacteria buildup and the return of gum disease. It’s also a useful procedure to help your gum tissue reattach to your teeth.
Depending upon the severity of your gum disease, it may take several appointments to treat all affected areas. You may be given a local anesthetic at the beginning of your appointment to reduce discomfort. After the treatment, it is normal to experience some swelling and minor bleeding for several days.
Pinhole Surgical Technique
Another minimally invasive gum surgery that can help you treat gum disease is the Pinhole Surgical Technique (PST) or pinhole gum surgery. Advanced gum disease often causes gum recession, which pulls the gums back and exposes more of the tooth. Past procedures to fix this problem involved invasive surgery to graft tissue from the mouth to cover the tooth. This took weeks to heal.
The pinhole gum surgery is a quick procedure to correct receding gums that requires no downtime afterward. A single, tiny hole is used to loosen the gum tissue with special tool. It is then repositioned to cover more of the tooth’s surface.
You can have the procedure performed on several teeth in one appointment. This less invasive technique reduces the risk of infection since there is no cutting and suturing. Most patients experience little discomfort. Additionally, the appearance of your smile improves immediately.
Talk to your dentist about your options and discuss the benefits of each type of minimally invasive gum surgery. Together, you can choose a treatment plan that is best for you.
Gum Disease Prevention Techniques and Tips
Gum disease has several main causes. These include poor lifestyle habits, illness, certain medications, or even genetics. The good news is that most cases are treatable and even preventable with good oral hygiene and lifestyle choices:
- Brush and floss your teeth at least two times each day to remove plaque and bacteria. These are the culprits behind periodontitis.
- Visit your dentist once every six months for a professional cleaning.
- Eat a healthy diet. Limit your intake of sugary foods and carbohydrates. These can both feed the bacteria that cause gum disease.
- Get enough vitamin C. Being deficient in Vitamin C increases your risk of developing gum disease. Eat more fruits, especially citrus, strawberries, and blueberries.
- Stay hydrated. Adequate water intake is essential for a healthy body. It also helps to wash food particles away from your teeth to prevent plaque formation.
- If you are a smoker, quit now. Smoking makes it more difficult for your gums to fight off an infection and heal from damage.
Minor inflammation of the gums can lead to periodontitis if left untreated. Make an appointment to see your dentist at the first signs of a problem so the situation doesn’t worsen.
Achieving Optimal Oral Health with Dr. Trijillo and the Arizona Periodontal Group
Dr. Trijillo has been a practicing periodontist since 1997 and currently practices in Phoenix, AZ. He has the knowledge and skills to diagnose and treat any dental health concern that you may have. You can get treatment for anything from minor gingivitis to advanced gum disease that requires minimally invasive gum surgery. Dr. Trijillo is one of the most trusted periodontists in Arizona. He is dedicated to the best results and continues to learn the latest advances in oral care techniques and treatments.
The entire team at the Arizona Periodontal Group in Phoenix focuses on providing you with personalized care in a relaxed setting. Get access to a full range of dental services, from routine cleanings to specialized care. At every appointment, you can expect gentle treatment. Receive the kindness and compassion of a knowledgeable team dedicated to your health and comfort.