Regenerative procedures Gum disease should NOT be taken lightly When you brush your teeth, do you find your gums are sore and tend to bleed? Maybe you see a little blood on your toothbrush or maybe it's significant enough to make you question it. You know it isn’t healthy but you aren’t sure what to do. Well, bleeding gums are generally caused from inadequate plaque removal both at your gum line and on your teeth. If you ignore it and leave it untreated, it will lead to gingivitis or inflamed gums. When plaque on your teeth isn’t properly removed (from regular at-home oral care together with your dental appointments at Dentalways) it will eventually harden into tarter. Sooner or later, this will lead to more bleeding and a more advanced form of gum and jawbone disease known as periodontitis. Periodontal disease (or what's commonly referred to as gum disease) is a progressive disease which affects the surrounding and supporting tissue of the gums. It also affects the underlying jawbone. Periodontal disease, if left untreated, can result unstable, loose teeth, and even the loss of your teeth. In fact, periodontal disease is the number #1 cause of tooth loss in adults in the developed world. This should underscore how important this disease is. Restore healthy gums, bone and teeth There are many regenerative dental procedures available to help restore health to your gums, bone and teeth. The following are the most commonly used regenerative procedures: BONE REGENERATIONDental implants and other restorative procedures performed by implant dentist, Dr. Khullar, depend on the jawbone being sufficiently strong and thick. When periodontal disease has taken hold, the jawbone may have become too thin to successfully support an implant. Natural bone regeneration (or bone grafting) is one of the best ways to promote growth and thicken the jawbone. Initially, bone grafting material is obtained from elsewhere on the body or from a bone bank. The gums are gently pulled back and an opening is made in the jawbone where the grafting material will be packed in tightly. A membrane is used to maintain the shape of the new bone, and tissue stimulating proteins and a platelet-rich growth factor may be applied to promote faster healing. The surgical site will be sutured and packed with protective material. The bone will naturally regenerate and become strong enough to eventually support an implant. GUM TISSUE REGENERATIONGum tissue regeneration is usually performed by way of gum grafting. When gum tissue has been lost as a result of periodontal disease, your smile may appear discolored, toothy or unpleasant. A gum graft aims to symmetrically contour the gum line, cover any exposed tooth roots and restore health to the gums. Initially, a small strip of tissue will be removed from the roof of the mouth and placed in the middle of a split-thickness incision at the recipient site. The surgical site will be covered with a protective membrane which promotes tissue regeneration, covered in platelet-rich growth factor and tissue stimulating proteins, and then sutured closed. The soft tissue surrounding the teeth will naturally regenerate, producing a healthy, smile. POCKET REDUCTION SURGERYThe aim of pocket reduction surgery is to reduce the depth of the gum pockets and make it much harder for bacteria to invade the gum tissue. Initially, the gum tissue is pulled back from the teeth and the subgingival area is thoroughly cleansed under local anesthesia. Extensive scraping may be required to fully remove the plaque, debris and tartar from below the gum line. An antimicrobial agent may then be applied by our Dentalways team to the affected area to kill any remaining bacteria, and the surgical site will be sutured closed. Pocket reduction surgery is very effective for halting tissue loss and promoting the natural healing of the gums. SCALING AND ROOT PLANINGThe term “scaling” refers to the removal of plaque and calculus (tartar) from above the gum line. This treatment is usually conducted in the course of a routine professional cleaning, and performed under local anesthetic. Root planing usually accompanies scaling and is performed below the gum line. Tartar and toxins are initially removed, and then the tooth root is smoothed down to promote good healing in the gum tissue. The planing of the tooth root provides a smooth area which prevents bacteria from recolonizing. If these procedures do not completely eradicate the infection, surgical measures may be required. You have options and you have help The biggest benefit to you in terms of your oral care, is just knowing the facts. When you know what the causes, symptoms and treatments are, you are more likely to prevent the disease in the first place. At Dentalways, we are committed to supplying you with all the information you need to make healthy, informed decisions about your oral care. If, at any time you have questions or want further information, just give us a call. We are here to help.