Your teeth sit firmly in your jaw, but they don’t just stay there by themselves. They rely on supporting bone and ligaments. They also rely on the gum tissue, which sits snugly against the teeth and provides a protective seal against bacteria. Gum disease, however, compromises the stability of your teeth by attacking these supporting structures. This serious oral health condition causes pockets to form between your gums and your teeth, allowing bacteria to enter and attack from inside. The longer gum disease goes untreated, the deeper the pockets become, and there is a much greater risk of tooth loss. A thorough cleaning is needed to allow your gums and the supporting structures of your teeth to heal. However, when the pockets are too deep, a simple cleaning is not enough. At Edelweiss Dental Implant Center, we can clean out these deep pockets with osseous surgery.
The Progression of Gum Disease
When gum disease starts, it doesn’t seem like that big of a problem. You may never even notice that it’s there. The only signs of the earliest stages of gum disease are redness, swelling, and bleeding when brushing or flossing. These signs are often thought to be indicative of brushing too hard and are ignored. As gum disease progresses, however, your swollen gums begin to pull away from your teeth, creating pockets. Oral bacteria fall into these pockets and begin attacking your jawbone and periodontal ligaments. The pockets become deeper, and the supporting structures grow weaker. Eventually, your teeth become loose and can even fall out.
Cleaning Periodontal Pockets
When diagnosed with gum disease, scaling and root planing is a common treatment. This particular treatment is essentially a deep cleaning of your teeth. Plaque, tartar, bacteria, and other debris are scraped from the exposed surfaces of your teeth as well as the surfaces below the gum line. The roots of your teeth are smoothed. In removing the buildup, your gums can begin to reattach to your teeth and heal. However, if the pockets are too deep, scaling and root planing tools may be unable to reach the bottom of your periodontal pockets. In this case, osseous surgery may be recommended.
The Osseous Surgery Procedure
Osseous surgery is a procedure that is performed to clean out periodontal pockets that are too deep to reach with other cleaning methods, including scaling and root planing. With this surgery, we can more effectively remove plaque, tartar, bacteria, and other toxins, enabling your gums to reattach to your teeth and heal.
Surgery begins with a local anesthetic. If you are anxious or nervous about the procedure, sedation can be provided to help you relax. We then make incisions in your gum tissue, which provides us access to the roots of your teeth as well as the jawbone. Next, we thoroughly scrape your teeth and smooth the surfaces. In some cases, we may need to recontour the jawbone or fill in weakened areas with bone graft material. When we are finished, your gums are sutured closed.
Benefits of Osseous Surgery
There are three main types of gum grafts:
- Periodontal pockets are reduced, and you can begin to heal from the effects of gum disease.
- It becomes easier to maintain the health of your mouth.
- You can prevent tooth loss.
- The appearance of your smile is restored.