Gum disease is a common dental problem that could result in tooth loss. Gingivitis and periodontics are the most common types of gum diseases. Regular plaque removal by brushing and flossing helps in maintaining healthy gums.
What are gingivitis and periodontitis?
It is the inflammation of gum tissues. Gums may swell up due to plaque or tartar build up along the gum line. They become painful, bleed easily while brushing and look puffy, soft and swollen. Proper brushing and flossing can prevent the chances of developing gingivitis.
In periodontics, there is deterioration of bone and the structures that support the teeth. The progression of periodontal can be prevented by maintaining good oral hygiene and visiting your dentist regularly.
Healthy gums are characterized by the following features:
- Pink or coral pink color
- Firm in consistency
- No areas of redness, swelling or inflammation
- No bleeding while brushing teeth
- No discomfort
What is scaling and root planing?
Scaling is the process by which plaque and calculus are removed from tooth surfaces. Root planing removes residual calculus and deposits from the roots to provide a smooth and clean root surface. Scaling and root planing completely removes the plaque and accumulated bacteria that provoke the gingival inflammation and restores the gingival health.
Both scaling and root planing would involve local anesthesia to numb the surrounding gums. This is done as the scaling instrument could cause a sharp pain when brought into contact with the gums during the process. Moreover, the gums near the root of the teeth are very sensitive and have to be handled carefully. There are certain risks involved in the case of root planing. When the scaling device is being used, care should be taken not to injure the nearby healthy gum tissue. This could introduce the bacteria from the plaque to enter the bloodstream. However, most dentists prefer scaling and root planing when one suffers from a stubborn case of gum disease. Getting rid of the bacteria can help one regain better gum health. It has been seen that root planing considerably reduces the chances of a person developing periodontal and gingivitis
What are the different types of Periodontal surgery?
- Gingival curettage: It is a process where the infected tissue is removed. Curettage is a surgical procedure which is performed under local anesthesia and aims at restoring proper gingival health.
- Gingivectomy: This procedure is conducted when the gums have overgrown and have to be reduced. This would cause trouble in brushing the teeth. Hence, the excess tissue is cut and removed.
- Gingivoplasty:This procedure is conducted when one’s gums have to be reshaped. This involves increasing or decreasing the size of the gums and also the removal of bacteria from under the gums by folding them back. It can be done on either side of the tooth to get better gums.
- Gingival flap surgery: This type of surgery is used when the gums have receded too low below the gum line to expose the root of the teeth. In simple words, the gums are lesser than the required size. Tissue from a different part of the mouth is taken and stitched in place of the gums.