When plaque is left around the teeth, it creates the right condition for bacteria to grow. These bacteria can irritate the gums and create gingivitis (inflammation of the gums). This makes the gums red and more likely to bleed easily. Gingivitis can easily be treated by a professional cleaning and polishing. Sometimes, I will recommend a medicated mouthwash and we will review how to brush and floss more effectively.
If gingivitis is left untreated, the inflammation will work its way down the tooth and form a “pocket”. This pocket is created because the bacterial are actually causing you to loose the bone around your teeth. We can measure the amount of bone loss around each tooth by doing Periodontal Pocket Measurements. Once these pockets have formed, it is much more difficult to clean the bacteria and you will need a scaling or deep cleaning of the pockets to get them clean. At this stage, gingivitis (inflammation of the gums) becomes periodontal disease (disease of the bone and supporting structures).
Gingivitis is easily treated with a professional cleaning and better home care of the patients. However, if you already have some pockets around your teeth, you will need a deep cleaning (root planning). This involves scraping the diseased tooth structure and bacteria from the root surfaces under the gums to help decrease the pockets around your teeth.
Adding Bone (Bone Graft)
Bone Grafting is a procedure performed to add bone or help your own body grow new bone in areas of your jaw where bone has resorbed due to disease or areas where there has been a tooth missing for a long time.