Healthy gum tissue fits snugly around each tooth. In periodontitis the gum tissue stretches out and forms pockets. Plaque and food debris can collect in these pockets. The bacteria in the plaque multiply, grow below the gumline and produce bacterial toxins. With the disease progression, the pockets deepen and more gum tissue and bone are destroyed, and eventually tooth loss occurs.
The aim of periodontal treatment is to
If you have more advanced periodontitis — the depth of the pockets between your gums and teeth is more than 5 mm — your dentist may recommend surgical treatments.
Surgical options include
Flap surgery: The gum is lifted to remove tartar. After this the gum is again sewn back in place so that it fits closely around the tooth. This removes the pocket and areas where bacteria multiply.
Bone grafts: The bone destroyed by periodontitis is replaced. The grafted bone forms the platform for the regrowth of bone, which gives stability to teeth.
Soft tissue grafts: Tissue is grafted in areas where gum is thin or places where gums have receded. Tissue for graft is often taken from the roof of the mouth.
Guided tissue regeneration: This procedure helps bone destroyed by bacteria to regrow. A special piece of biocompatible fabric is placed between the bone and your tooth. It prevents unwanted tissue from entering the treated area, and helps the bone to grow back. A newer technique involves application of a gel that has proteins found in tooth enamel to the diseased tooth root. This makes the body think that a new tooth is being formed, and it stimulates the growth of healthy bone and tissue.
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