Gum disease is a condition in which inflammation of the gum tissue and the loss of bone that supports the teeth takes place. This is mainly due to the formation of plaque. The formation of plaque is called gingivitis and if it is untreated it becomes hard and spreads to all over the mouth and destruction of gum tissue leads to periodontitis.
Treatment for gum diseases
There are several ways to treat gum diseases depends on the severity. It can be treated by:
- Oral hygiene: Maintaining oral hygiene is the best way to treat gum diseases. Maintain oral hygiene by brushing twice daily, flossing regularly, using tooth paste that contains fluoride.
- Medications: Medications like antibiotics, pain killers and mouth washes are used to treat gum problems along with surgery or cleaning methods.
- Antibiotics: Antibiotics are available in tablet and gel forms. Antibiotics like metronidazole and amoxycillin are recommended for short term treatment of gum diseases. Antibiotic gels are used to apply over the gums after root planning and deep scaling.
- Pain killers: Pain killers like paracetamol and ibuprofen are recommended to reduce pain.
- Mouth washes: Mouth washes containing chlorhexidine or hydrogen peroxide are used to rinse mouth. Some mouth washes need to be diluted with water before rinsing mouth.
- Deep cleaning methods: Plaque and tartar is removed by the dentist using deep cleaning method. The methods include deep scaling and root planning. Scaling means scraping the tartar on the teeth and then polishes the teeth. Root planning is deep cleaning under the gums to avoid bacterial growth. Local anesthesia is given to numb the area. Loss of blood, swelling for sometime, discomfort takes place in deep cleaning method. This can be avoided by using laser to remove plaque and tartar.
- Surgical treatment: Gum diseases can be treated by surgery if the problem is severe. Surgery is done to reduce the deep pockets below the gum line. The surgical treatments include, flap surgery and bone and tissue grafting.
- Flap surgery: In flap surgery, the infected gum tissue is removed and repositioned and shaping of the gum tissue to support teeth. The surgical procedure vary depending on the severity of gum disease. In this the gum tissue is lifted up from the teeth and cleans the bone to remove plaque and then positioned in the place and sutured to minimize the pocket depth.
- Bone and tissue grafting: This method is used to regenerate the lost gum tissue and bone which supports the teeth. In bone grafting, the lost bone is replaced with artificial or natural bone. Guided tissue regeneration is a technique used along with bone grafting. In this a small mesh like material is placed between the bone and gum tissue and allows the tissue to grow along with the bone. In tissue grafting, the lost tissue is replaced with the tissue taken from the other parts of the mouth or synthetic material is used to cover the exposed teeth.