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Can a dentist fix gums? This is a question we get asked a lot here at Vita Dental Spring. A lot of patients suffering from gum diseases are keen to find out whether dentists are capable of handling gum problems and offering appropriate treatment.
At the mention of the word dentist, a lot of people can help but think about teeth. A lot of people always associate dentists with teeth and they often forget that dentists are capable of offering other services beyond just pulling out teeth, cleaning teeth, filling out cavities and other common dental procedures. One of the most overlooked abilities of a dentist, is their ability to treat gum infections and restore good oral hygiene.
Before delving into how dentists treat gum diseases, it is imperative to look at the rising cases of gum infections, the common causes of gum diseases and the treatment options available. In the past few years, there has been an upsurge in the number of reported gum diseases in dentists’ offices and emergency rooms across the country.
By definition, gum disease is the severe inflammation of the lining of the gum which can affect the underlying bone which anchors teeth. There are 2 types of gums diseases; gingivitis and aggressive periodontitis, Gingivitis is a disease that causes gums to be very sensitive to temperature and touch and makes them swollen. People suffering from gingivitis often bleed from their gums and brushing of teeth becomes a problem.
Aggressive periodontitis on the other hand, is a more serious complication caused by untreated gingivitis and it affects the alveolar bone which is anchors the tooth sockets. With aggressive periodontitis, there is a buildup of plaque which continually attacks the gums making them very weak and sensitive. The gums become swollen, red and inflamed. Left untreated, this periodontitis will spread to other parts of the mouth leaving the oral system susceptible to multiple infections and diseases.
Causes of gum diseases
The most common cause of gum disease is the buildup of plaque in between teeth and the gums. When it is not removed on time, this plaque hardens and becomes tartar which is very dangerous to teeth and the gums alike. The sugars and acids contained in the tartar attack the gums causing inflammation and opening them to infections.
How dentists treat gum diseases
Depending on the severity of the gum disease, dentists have a wide range of treatment options to choose from. Here are the most common treatment options offered in dental offices;
If the gum disease hasn’t progressed to dangerous levels, then the dentist will opt for nonsurgical treatment. This is especially the case when treating mild periodontitis. In nonsurgical treatment, a dentist uses scaling and root planing to get rid of any food buildup on the surface of the gums.
Scaling is the scraping and removing of plaque and tartar from the surface of teeth using special equipment. Without removing the tartar and plaque, it will steadily accumulate to dangerous levels and slowly begin attacking the gums.
Root planing is the smoothing away of any roughness that might be on the roots of teeth to prevent bacterial accumulations and infections. By administering a local aesthetic, the dentist is able to gently smoothen the affected roots without causing unnecessary discomfort. This leaves your teeth looking and feeling clean and healthy.
Pocket reduction procedure
In the event that your gum disease has caused a disconnect between the alveolar bone and the gum tissue, then a pocket reduction procedure will be required to reattach the tissue back to the bone. Pocket reduction procedure involves the retracting the gum tissue close to the bone to get rid of any infectious bacteria and smoothen out any damaged bone.
Severe cases of gum diseases cause serious inflammations and recession of the gum line. In such cases, the dentists requires to graft the lost gum by obtaining grafts from other parts of the mouth. Dentists normally obtain grafts from a patient’s palate and carefully graft onto the affected area to boost the anchorage of teeth.
Bone grafting involves using a natural or synthetic bone together with tissue stimulating proteins to promote the proper growth of bones in areas where the original bone has been affected by gum diseases. The new graft helps your body to regenerate new bone and provide proper anchorage to your teeth.
So, can a dentist take care of gum diseases? The answer is yes, dentists are trained to take care of gums and our dentists here at Vita Dental Spring can’t wait to help treat your gums and restore your oral health. We offer high quality services including gum treatment and other dental services at a very competitive rate. For more information on Vita Dental Spring’s services, drop us a line and we will gladly be of service.