According to the American Dental Association (ADA), nearly 35% of all adult Americans are already dealing with some periodontal symptoms – symptoms on gum disease – and the percentage continues to climb on an annual basis.
This is not good news.
Gum disease might not seem all that insidious on the surface, but if left unchecked it can absolutely devastate the overall health and wellness of anyone afflicted. It can rob you of your teeth, your smile, and then start to go to work on your overall oral health and hygiene and has even been linked to some forms of cancer, heart disease, and other more serious medical issues.
Thankfully though, there are a myriad of treatment options for gum disease available for individuals to take advantage of. We touch on some of the more accessible options below.
Some of the most effective solutions for fighting back against gum disease are nonsurgical solutions, and none of these are quite as effective as a professional dental cleaning.
There’s a reason why dental professionals recommend that you come in at least twice a year, every single year, for a proper cleaning – and ideally even more frequently than that.
This cleaning is when a dentist or dental hygienist is going to remove all of the plaque and tartar that has built upon your teeth, especially removing it from both above and below the gum line of your teeth. This isn’t something anyone is going to be able to do all on their own, either.
Scaling and root planing options are also available, and are usually administered as more of a “deep clean” kind of solution and are often done under local anesthetic. These kinds of recommendations are made by dentists and dental hygienists if more serious issues surrounding periodontal disease are recognized, particularly if plaque and calculus (hardened plaque and tartar) have been discovered under your gums and need to be removed.
Should gum disease the left unchecked it may be time to take advantage of surgical treatment options for gum disease.
Flap surgery/pocket reduction surgery are some of the most commonly recommended surgical interventions, sensitively peeling back your gums so that tartar can be removed and any irregular surfaces that have been established on your teeth and under your gumline can be smoothed out.
Bone graft surgeries use fragments of bone you have already in your body, synthetic bone, or donor bone that is grafted into your jaw to replace bone that has been eroded away by gum disease. This provides a lot of extra stability to your teeth that would have disappeared over time, and thanks to some major advances in technology that makes bone graft surgery possible is able to recover much faster than ever before.
Soft tissue grafts, guided tissue regeneration, and bone surgery options are all on the table as well depending on just how significant your periodontal condition is. Obviously, your dentist will recommend to you the right solution for your specific situation – just know that options exist no matter how dire things may look!