Advanced periodontal disease, also known as periodontitis, is extremely common among American adults. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), over 47% of people age 30 and up in the United States have periodontitis—that’s over 64 million people nationwide who are at an increased risk of deep tissue infection and tooth loss.
Fortunately, you can decrease this risk with advanced gum disease treatment. Through nonsurgical or surgical procedures, you can reverse the effects of periodontitis and restore your healthy smile.
What is Advanced Periodontal Disease?
Gum disease usually begins as gingivitis, a bacterial infection caused by persistent plaque. In the early stages of gingivitis, gums become red, inflamed, and sore, and you may notice blood when you brush or floss your teeth.
With proper dental care, gingivitis is easily reversible. Left untreated, however, it can rapidly progress to advanced periodontal disease, which causes receding gums, bad breath, and even tooth loss.
While it’s a highly treatable condition, the type of periodontitis treatment you receive depends on the severity of your gum disease.
Nonsurgical Options for Advanced Periodontal Disease Treatment
If your periodontitis isn’t severe, you may benefit from less invasive, nonsurgical treatments, such as:
Scaling is a deep-cleaning procedure designed to remove tartar and plaque both above and beneath your gum line.
Often performed alongside scaling, root planing smooths your tooth roots to encourage seamless reattachment of your gums.
Your periodontist may apply local antibiotics during a cleaning procedure, but oral antibiotics may also help eliminate infections beneath your gums.
Surgical Options for Advanced Periodontal Disease Treatment
When noninvasive treatments aren’t enough to control the inflammation and pockets associated with periodontitis, you may need to undergo one of the following surgical procedures:
Pocket Reduction Surgery
Also known as flap surgery, this involves tiny incisions in the gums which are then used to fold back the tissue, enabling easier access for deep cleaning.
During pocket reduction surgery, your periodontist can remove infectious bacteria and recontour your tooth roots before stitching your gums back in place.
Soft Tissue Grafts
Periodontitis often leads to a receding gumline, sometimes causing a loss of the strong gum tissue normally surrounding your teeth. If your gums are damaged beyond repair, you may require a gum graft from the roof of your mouth to build back the strong gum tissue that was lost.
Gum grafts can protect your teeth, reduce sensitivity, and enhance your appearance.
At times, periodontal disease can result in a severe amount of bone loss around your teeth. In these cases, bone grafts can prevent tooth loss and encourage the regrowth of your natural bone.
During a bone grafting procedure, your periodontist will surgically place small pieces of bone along with some growth factors to help jumpstart the bone growth.
Keep Your Gums Healthy With Periodontal Maintenance
After receiving treatment for periodontitis, it’s important to keep your gums healthy through regular periodontal maintenance.
Aside from fastidious home care, including at least twice-daily brushing and flossing, your periodontist may provide you with a prescription for mouthwash or recommend professional in-office periodontal cleanings to check for areas of concern and prevent major gum problems before they begin.
Advanced Periodontitis Treatment at San Diego Periodontics and Implant Dentistry
If you’re looking for a periodontal dentist in San Diego, come to San Diego Periodontics and Implant Dentistry. Dr. Kennie Kwok is a highly educated, experienced, and committed periodontist who takes the time to educate his patients on how to effectively care for their gums. We offer both surgical and nonsurgical treatment for advanced periodontal disease and can recommend a periodontal maintenance plan that’s right for you.
Call our office at (619) 543-0905 to make an appointment for periodontal services or to schedule a consultation.