The branch of dentistry that deals with gum diseases is called Periodontology. The bone, gums
and ligaments that hold a
tooth in its socket, together form the Periodontium of the tooth. The integrity of your
periodontium is a must for your
teeth to remain healthy. When this periodontium is diseased, the gums are inflamed, the bone
below is infected and
destroyed and the roots of your teeth start getting exposed. This is the beginning of complex
problems such as tooth
sensitivity, recession of gums, loosening of teeth, destruction of the bone that supports the
teeth and ultimately, the
teeth falling off.
The simplest way to avoid these problems is to maintain healthy oral hygiene habits such as brushing twice daily, rinsing your mouth after each meal and limiting your intake of sweet and acidic foods. When these habits are supplemented by a six monthly dental scaling and polishing procedure by your dentist, you will ensure optimum health of your gums and teeth. For those with advanced periodontal problems, other treatments mentioned below will help.
Gum disease is caused by a build-up of plaque. The simplest way to remove this is by brushing your teeth twice daily. In spite of good brushing habits, there are certain areas that are difficult to reach and keep clean. Plaque accumulates over these areas and over time hardens to form a stone like deposit called calculus. Brushing alone will not remove the calculus. If not removed, more plaque can build up around the tooth and potentially under the gum line, leading to the loosening of teeth. To reduce the risk of gum disease or to help stop it from becoming more serious, we may recommend that you have a professional cleaning, called a Scaling and polishing.
A flap surgery procedure involves lifting the gums off of the teeth to remove plaque and calculus build up. After the dentist has cleaned the area and removed the calculus, they will stitch the gums into place to fit around the teeth. For some patients, the underlying bone may require reshaping during this procedure. This treatment helps to protect your teeth, gums and underlying bone from further deterioration.
Recession of gums is the process in which the gums that surrounds the teeth move away and cause
exposure of more of the
tooth, or the tooth's root. The first sign of gum recession is usually tooth sensitivity, or you
may notice a tooth
looks longer than normal. Recession may occur due to poor oral hygiene, tobacco use or hormonal
Mild gum recession may be able to be treated by your dentist by Flap surgery. Moderate to severe gum recession cannot be treated with deep cleaning because of excess loss of bone and pockets that are too deep; these cases require gum surgery to repair the damage. Along with flap surgery, a regenerative material, such as a membrane, graft tissue, or tissue-stimulating protein, will then be applied to encourage your body to naturally regenerate bone and tissue in that area. After the regenerative material is put in place, the gum tissue is secured over the root of the tooth or teeth.
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