Gum disease is a devastating problem that starts in your gums. Gingivitis, the earliest stage, is an infection in the gums, can easily go undiagnosed, as many people never notice the redness and swelling of the gums associated with it. Gingivitis is easily reversible, but once it progresses into more severe stages, periodontal disease, more intervention than a dental cleaning is required. Periodontal maintenance can often help to heal the gums and prevent infections and other health issues, but if the pockets in your gums become too deep, pocket reduction surgery may be required.
A more advanced stage of gum disease, periodontal disease affects more than just your gums. The plaque on your teeth hardens into tartar, which cannot be removed by simply brushing your teeth. Tartar pushes up against your gums, causing irritation and inflammation. Bacteria can easily fall below the gum line, feeding on lost food particles and multiplying. Bacteria can also cause infection under your gums and in the roots of your teeth. These infections can get into your jawbone and then into your bloodstream, spreading throughout your body and potentially leading to such issues as heart disease, diabetes and stroke.
Periodontal disease often requires periodontal maintenance, scheduled cleanings that include scaling and root planing. These processes are a deep cleaning of your teeth, removing plaque and tartar buildup as well as infection causing bacteria. These cleanings can help in the healing of your teeth and gums. While maintenance is usually a great help to those with periodontal disease, in some situations it may not be effective.
One major issue caused by periodontal disease is the formation of pockets in your gums. When your gums are healthy, the tissue fits snug around your teeth, sealing out bacteria. When your gums succumb to disease, this tissue begins to deteriorate and recede, forming pockets, gaps, in which bacteria can fall. Normally, these pockets and be kept clean by means of periodontal maintenance, or regularly scheduled deep cleanings of disease ridden teeth and gums, but when they become too deep, their ability to be kept clear of bacteria becomes difficult, if not impossible, therefore requiring surgery.
Pocket Reduction Surgery
Pocket formation in the gums is cyclical. Bacteria causes pockets, which allows more bacteria in, worsening the pockets, which allow in even more bacteria. Pocket reduction surgery, or osseous surgery puts an end to this cycle.
During this surgery, gum tissue is folded back and bacteria is removed. Occasionally, damaged bone may need to be smoothed out to prevent hiding places for bacteria. The tissue is then secured back in place and allowed to heal.
Benefits of pocket reduction surgery include:
If periodontal disease has wreaked havoc on your gums, causing pockets too deep to be cleaned by regular periodontal maintenance, pocket reduction surgery can help start the healing process. For more information, or to schedule an appointment, call the experts at Implant and Periodontal Associates Northwest. Don't let periodontal disease continue to ruin your health. Let us provide you with the quality care you deserve. Call today!