Periodontics / Gum Disease
Treatment of Gum Disease in San Antonio
The Basics of Gum Disease
Stages of Gum Disease
Gingivitis is the first stage of gum disease, and it is the only stage that is reversible. It is characterized by red, swollen, bleeding gums, bad breath and a foul taste in the mouth.
- Periodontitis is the second stage and occurs when periodontal pockets form and bacterial toxins begin to destroy the tissues and supporting bone around the teeth, causing irreversible damage. At this point, symptoms can be controlled but the gum disease is a chronic condition.
- Advanced periodontitis is the final stage of gum disease, occurring when the bone and periodontal ligaments supporting the teeth deteriorate significantly and cause loosening of the teeth. Without aggressive treatment, tooth loss is likely to occur in this stage.
Gum Disease Risk Factors
Patients with the following conditions or lifestyle factors are at a high risk of developing periodontal disease:
Surgical Treatments for Gum Disease
If scaling and root planing do not successfully halt the progression of gum disease, you’ll need to see a periodontist for one or more of the following treatments:
Flap Surgery: Also called pocket reduction surgery, flap surgery involves pulling the gums away from the teeth and removing tartar and bacteria near the damaged bone. The bone tissues may be smoothed to create a an environment for healing, and the gums are repositioned over the teeth and sutured in such a way that a pocket no longer exists.
Bone and Soft Tissue Grafts: In cases where the jawbone and gum tissues have deteriorated, grafted tissues are placed at the site of the damage to stimulate regrowth.
Guided Bone Tissue Regeneration: Performed in conjunction with flap surgery, a tiny piece of mesh is placed between the damaged gum and root surface so that the gums will not grow into the void left by the bone deterioration. This allows both the gums and the bone tissues to regenerate normally for optimal support of the teeth.