Surgical Options for Periodontal Disease
Whenever we come across commercials of all natures for toothpastes, tooth brushes, floss and the like, we see that they claim to assist and help you in managing your periodontal issues with a great assurance. Periodontal Disease refers to infection that first and foremost affects your gums, and then lead on to damage to the alveolar bone that your teeth are anchored too. What would naturally follow is that these roots would wear-out, and the effects would be felt by your teeth!
When periodontal problems do get out of hand it’s time to see a dentist in Bakersfield
In most cases, the key point that most of these commercials miss out on is the “proper use” of these products. And that’s why in spite of adhering to all the “advice”, for a few (read a lot) unfortunate people, periodontal disease happens nevertheless. And for those even more unfortunate, improper management and preliminary, inadequate treatment gives rise to a situation which can only be dealt with through surgical intervention.
Surgical Procedures for Periodontal Diseases
Firstly, this isn’t a job for you; it’s for your Periodontist’s skilled hands. And now for a brief list of the possibilities of surgical treatments your periodontist might consider and choose from:
- Flap surgery: as the name suggests the surgical procedure involves your dentist in Bakersfield cutting into the gum and lifting up small flaps of gum. This is done to remove tartar and plaque build-up under these flaps. Once the region is cleaned and sterilized the flap is stitched back in place. This surgery aims to contain the spread of infection.
- Bone grafting: This procedure involves harvesting bone from other areas of the body or using synthetic bone grafts. These grafts are placed when pockets are left behind in the alveolar bone due to bone loss. The presence of these grafts encourages natural regeneration of the bone. Bone grafting is done by removing the gum to place the graft. After this the gum is stitched back in place as in the case of flap surgery.
- Enamel matrix derivative application: This is slightly different from the graft or cleaning procedures. This focuses at better bone growth. For this surgery the periodontist or surgeon will expose the root of the diseased tooth, and after cleaning it, apply a special gel. This gel is rich in the proteins that the tooth needs to re-generate and re-grow. It also encourages healthy bone regeneration.
- Guided tissue regeneration: Often used in conjunction with Bone Grafts treatment, this procedure grafts mesh-like tissue material in very small quantities in the graft site, between the gum tissue and the bone. This protects the bone graft and ensures that gum tissue doesn’t grow into this cavity for the duration of time that the bone takes to regenerate.
- Soft tissue grafts: When periodontal disease affects your gum tissues, and the damage needs surgical control, the Kern County periodontist will not need to operate down to your alveolar bone. Instead, tissue grafts are taken from the roof of the mouth and placed on the regions where gum tissue has degenerated and is lost. Once placed it’s sutured in place and left to regenerate on its own. This procedure is used to stop gum recession, to protect and cover up exposed roots and also for cosmetic purposes.
However, your choice of which dentist in Bakersfield to use, as well as which treatment, will depend on your periodontal condition and the advancement of the disease. As such your periodontist will carry out all appropriate tests and investigation before picking out the one appropriate for you. You on the other hand should take things easy – Periodontal disease can be quite a bother, but it isn’t something that you cannot get rid of. And the right management, treatment or surgery will help you to do just that!
Can “Cosmetic Treatments” Like Crown-Lengthening Therapy Do any Good Treating Your Periodontitis?
Crown lengthening therapy is basically a cosmetic surgery, which involves removal of excessive gum tissue, or alveolar bone, so that more of the tooth is exposed. It helps to correct too gummy a smile. However, of late, Kern County periodontists often perform this same crown lengthening as a preventive measure against periodontal infections. In fact, your dentist in Bakersfield may implement it to address repeated gum infection. Basically, patients who have bigger than normal gums, often find it tough to maintain oral health. They become susceptible to different oral problems like gum inflammation, tartar and tooth decay. So far a periodontal problem is concerned, the purpose of crown lengthening treatment is to remove the extra gum tissue, and develop a symmetrical gum line occupying less space. Thus, it helps to prevent many types of oral infection. Here’s more about the essential things to know about crown lengthening as a part of periodontitis treatment:
How to get prepared for crown lengthening treatment?
Before you undergo the treatment, you should:
Visit a practicing dentist in Bakersfield, specifically a periodontist, so that he/ she can check your medical history as well as your X-rays. Reviewing them, the periodontist will fix a date for the treatment (a surgery, to be precise).Your doctor may suggest you to go for a teeth cleaning session before the surgery.Your doctor will also suggest a couple of anti-inflammatory medicines to take a day before surgery.However, you should not take medicines like Aspirin as it can intervene with normal blood clotting.If needed, your periodontist may put on a temporary crown as this will make it easier for your periodontist to determine how much gums or bones should be removed.Your doctor may suggest you to take a high protein diet before the surgery.
Can you get insurance coverage for this treatment?
In many cases, insurance companies negate coverage for this surgery or pay a minimal portion of the cost. Most insurance providers take it as a cosmetic procedure. So make certain that you discuss the matter with your insurance agent well in advance as the procedure can be quite costly.
How is the surgery done?
- The surgery is done by applying local anesthesia.
- Your dentist in Bakersfield can even play light music to help you stay calm throughout the procedure.
- During the surgery, the periodontist makes cuts to pull away gums from the teeth, to expose the roots of the teeth as well as its surrounding bones. This can involve removal of soft tissues, or removal of bones around the teeth root or both.
- When enough of teeth is exposed, the surgical region is washed with sterile salt water.
- Next, the operated gums are sutured. Your doctor can even put a bandage on the stitches.
- The temporary crowns will be removed before the surgery.
- By and large, the procedure can take about 2-3 hours. However, depending on how many teeth are being treated, the duration may differ.
- Post-operative care
You may experience slight bleeding for up to 24 hours after surgery, but things will be settled in no time. You may also experience minor swelling/ inflammation. So as a part of post-operative care, you should:
- Avoid rinsing your teeth for up to 24 hours after surgery as it can interfere with your blood clotting.
- Try not to eat anything hot on the day of the procedure.
- Have soft foods like paste, eggs etc which are easy to chew.
- To take care of excessive bleeding, you can take moistened tea bag and gently press it at the place where it is bleeding. If things go worse, contact your doctor.
- Avoid using toothpicks.
- It may take about 6 days to heal up completely.
When Should You See Your Dentist in Bakersfield?
Call your periodontist immediately if you:
- Find that the pain killer is not giving you any comfort
- See discharge/ excessive swelling on the operated area
- Feel that the bandage is falling off
- Feel tender lumps below your lower jaw/ operated area
- Can’t control the bleeding.
Crown lengthening therapy if performed by expert hands can truly transform your smile. Whether you should go for it or not should be a conscious joint decision made by both you and your Bakersfield dentist!
Home Care Tips For Periodontal Disease
Periodontal disease is a grave problem in and of itself. Not only can it become painful and bothersome for you, but your mouth is one of the ‘gateways’ to your entire body. As a result the presence of infection in the mouth tends to affect your overall health as well. As your dentist in Bakersfield may already have informed you, there is a gamut of treatment options, both surgical and non-surgical available to you. But just consider – the teeth are yours and you also need to be shoulder some of the responsibility. And how can you do your bit in keeping your teeth healthy and arresting the progress of the disease? Why, by continuing with normal home care, along with regular visits to your periodontist, of course. Proper Home Care Tips for Periodontal Disease:
- First and foremost – brushing at least twice a day is the best possible practice that you can adopt.
- Find out the right technique for brushing from your periodontist or hygienist, this will maximize plaque removal while you brush.
- Flossing is another essential in your periodontal home care regimen.
- Another good tip is to check your toothpaste label for fluoride. Fluoride is good for dental care.
- Regularly use a good anti-bacterial and anti-septic mouth-wash.
- Ditch the sweets – they are bad for your teeth and gum.
- Change your toothbrush once every 3 months.
- A well balanced diet helps your body cope better with the infection.
- Smoking actually worsens the condition, so if you are a smoker, stop.
- Also diabetics are naturally prone to periodontal diseases because of high glucose levels in the blood.
- In case you are a diabetic, it is important that you control your blood sugars levels at all times.
- At times your periodontist may even recommend oral irrigation.
All these home care tips are equally essential, and usually recommended by periodontists to be followed in between appointments. However, one problem that needs to be addressed is with people who find following these basic tips difficult. Often seniors face a lot of problem due to arthritis which makes it difficult for them to hold their toothbrush and floss properly. If you also face these problems, here are a few tips for you. There are a number of different options that allow you to hold your toothbrush firm by attaching it to your hand, even if you aren’t able to grasp it properly. Some examples are:
- Rubber bands or wide elastic bands
- Cutting a snug slit in a tennis ball, and inserting the handle of the brush in it. This will help because people with arthritis find it easier to grip the ball rather than the thin toothbrush.
- You can also go for floss-holders to attach the floss to when flossing.
- An electric toothbrush may also make it less of an ordeal.
The above tips can also be helpful for people who have disabilities. Once you have incorporated these into your regular home care routine, as well as regular visits to your dentist in Bakersfield, you can rest assured that you are also doing your bit in controlling your periodontal disease!