Though gum disease treatment is never ideal, there are various options available to help you find the one that’s best for you. Some of these options include prescription drugs as well as surgical and non-surgical procedures. Talk with your dental professional about your situation and the solutions that may be the best for your particular problem. Here are some of the most popular options:
Your dentist may recommend antibiotics to use in combination with another gum disease treatment in order to reduce or eliminate the bacteria associated with the issue. Some may also be prescribed to control plaque and gingivitis, which can lead to gum disease. The antibiotic could come in the form of a mouth rinse or as a chip that periodically releases medication. Instead of (or in addition to) the prescription medication, your dental professional may recommend a brand of toothpaste that contains fluoride and an antibiotic to reduce plaque and gingivitis.
Your issue may be minor enough to be effectively treated with a non-surgical procedure, such as regular dental check ups and scaling and root planing.
Regular dental check ups – It is recommended that everyone gets regular check ups twice a year in which a hygienist removes the plaque and tartar that naturally builds up and hardens on your tooth surface. If you have signs of gum disease, treatment may entail getting a professional cleaning more often.
Scaling and Root Planing – Although this is a nonsurgical process, a local anesthetic is administered because it involves scraping away plaque and tartar, as well as smoothing the rough spots on the tooth root. This helps to remove the bacteria and provides a cleaner surface for your teeth. This process is usually done if you have hardened plaque under the gums that must be removed.
If drug and non-surgical gum disease treatments have not worked or the issue is more severe, your dentist may recommend a surgical option. Some examples include:
Flap surgery – In this process, the periodontist lifts the gums back so tartar can be removed. Sometimes, the damaged bone surface is smoothed. They are then placed so they fit closely around the tooth, reducing the size of the space between the two. This decreases the areas where harmful bacteria can grow, which can lead to periodontal issues.
Bone grafts – If your issue includes bone deterioration, your dentist may recommend a bone graft. Fragments of your own bone, a synthetic bone, or a donated bone are used to replace the damaged areas and serve as a foundation for the regrowth of bone.
Guided tissue regeneration – If the bone supporting your teeth is destroyed, you may have this procedure to help stimulate bone and tissue growth. It is usually done in combination with flap surgery, and involves inserting a small mesh-like fabric between the bone and tissue. This controls the growth of the tissue.
Bone surgery – This process is usually done when there is moderate to severe bone loss. The bone is actually reshaped to decrease craters, which makes it more difficult for bacteria to grow.
Don’t wait to talk to your dental professional when you believe you are in need of gum disease treatment. If not addressed promptly, it can lead to serious health issues.