Gum disease is when a build-up of bacteria forms in your mouth. It is usually caused by poor dental hygiene. When it is not severe, it is called gingivitis. However, if gingivitis is left untreated for too long, it can become periodontitis. This is a more serious gum disease that can require extensive therapy in order to treat. Here at Harmony Dental Care in Oshawa, ON, we want to catch gum disease early so we can treat it before it becomes too serious.
Plaque build-up on your teeth may cause your gums to swell and even bleed. This can be quite uncomfortable. There are a few other symptoms to watch out for. You might have bad breath, which nobody wants, an unpleasant taste that doesn’t go away, and tender or sensitive gums.
At this point, there is no damage that’s irreversible just yet. If you have been diagnosed by one of our dentists at Harmony Dental Care, we can begin treatment immediately. This tends to start with a thorough, professional cleaning. Then we’ll do scaling and root planing. Scaling is the process of removing tartar from the area of teeth that’s below your gum line. Root planing is the process of roughening the surface of your teeth to prevent plaque from building up there again. We will also provide advice on how to better improve your oral hygiene at home.
When gingivitis goes untreated for too long, it can turn into periodontitis. This is when symptoms become far more serious and can include everything from receding gums to deep pockets to loose or misaligned teeth. It can even cause you to lose one or more teeth!
The treatment for periodontitis will include the process of stopping the disease from spreading and working to repair the damaged tissue. This can often require surgery at Harmony Dental Care, such as the following:
Flap Surgery: This involves cleaning the bacteria from underneath your gums and then decreasing the area between gums and teeth in order to stop bacteria from gathering once more. It might also include tissue regeneration. If it does, we will put a mesh fabric between your gums and the bone to prevent gum tissue from building where it should be just bone.
Bone Grafts: This is where synthetic or real bone is added to the damaged part of the jawbone in order to stimulate new tissue growth.
Tissue Grafts: This is where tissue from the roof of your mouth is grafted onto gums that have receded or become too thin.