The effects of periodontal disease can become quite drastic. What begins as mild gum inflammation can spread throughout surrounding tissue, resulting in a negative impact on your bones. When visualizing the mouth, the important factor is realizing that all parts work together. When one part of your mouth is sick, the illness may quickly cause a domino effect from which the only return may include serious treatment and surgery.
What Causes Bone Loss?
Bone Loss is the result of untreated periodontal disease. As bacteria spread beyond the gumline – inflammation first known as gingivitis – the disease infects tissue beneath your teeth. A healthy mouth includes bones and teeth surrounded snugly by connective tissue and gum tissue. Your teeth fit into their sockets and bones without wiggle room. The point where your gums meet your teeth creates a tiny dip, known as a gingival sulcus. As disease progresses, your gums pull away from your teeth. Plaque fills the gingival sulcus. As this tiny pocket becomes larger, it is referred to as a periodontal pocket. As bacteria reach teeth roots and your jawbone, released bacterial toxins wear away at the bone tissue, which is no longer protected by healthy gums. Effects may include tooth loss, bone craters, or severe bone deterioration.
How Do You Treat Bone Loss?
Fixing Bone Loss begins with addressing periodontal disease. Dr. Comeaux or Dr. Pearson and our team at Periodontics Associates will examine your mouth visually and with the assistance of digital imaging. The first step in addressing Bone Loss is clearing up the infection. Because you can no longer clean the plaque within the periodontal pocket, your dentist will gently clean out all infected areas manually through a process called root planing and scaling. One or more of the following treatments will likely follow:
- Pocket reduction, a surgical procedure that resets your gums against your teeth
- Tooth removal and replacement for loose teeth
- Bone reshaping, which includes smoothing a bone with dips to remove potential hiding spots for bacteria
- Bone regeneration, a surgical procedure in which our periodontists perform bone grafting with natural or synthetic bone. We will encourage bone growth or take bone tissue from healthy bone and transplant it to the destroyed portion.
Will I Ever Have a Beautiful, Functional Smile Again?
The healing process may feel overwhelming when it comes to regenerating the bones in your oral structure. However, our team is dedicated to solving periodontal disease problems and ensuring you are happy not only with the health of your gums, but with the function and beauty of your smile. Depending on the strength of your regenerated bones, we will offer solutions to complete your smile, such as dentures or dental implants.
Seeking treatment or surgery for periodontal disease? Our board-certified periodontists take a compassionate approach to periodontal care, and will spend time getting to know you rather than hurrying out of the exam room. Schedule a visit with our team at Periodontics Associates today to review your treatment options with Dr. Comeaux or Dr. Pearson in our Lafayette office, or with Dr. Comeaux at our Opelousas satellite office. Please contact us if you have any questions.