What is Periodontal Disease?
Dr. Raymond van Gennip in Silver Spring, MD treats periodontal disease with a number of periodontal surgeries. Commonly known as gum disease, periodontal disease is an infection in the gum tissue around the teeth and the bone beneath the surface. It may occur around a single tooth, or multiple teeth. It is the major reason that people over the age of thirty lose one or more teeth.
As the condition worsens, bone supporting the teeth is destroyed, causing the normally shallow gum crevice around the teeth to become deeper. This deep “pocket” contains bacteria which can’t be removed by brushing or flossing the teeth because they are too far below the gum surface. Other factors such as genetics, nutrition, stress, excess weight, smoking, and diabetes may affect the severity of periodontal disease in any one individual.
What are the Risks of Periodontal Disease?
Left untreated, periodontal disease will cause the loss of your teeth, often painlessly. Recent findings suggest that inflammation (infection) in the gum tissue allows chemical toxins and bacteria to enter the bloodstream and circulate throughout the body. This may cause increased risk for heart disease, stroke, and premature birth in pregnant woman. Diabetic control may also be more difficult. Further research may discover other relationships between periodontal disease and other health problems.
What is Osseous Surgery?
Osseous surgery is the technical name for pocket reduction surgery. This is a type of treatment used in changing the deep gum pockets found in more advanced periodontal disease to shallow, healthy pockets. Shallow pockets measure no more than 3 millimeters deep, about an eighth of an inch. Shallow pocket depths allow you to remove the bacteria on the sides of the teeth using a toothbrush, and possibly other cleaning devices. By doing so, you will prevent the infection from starting again.
What does Osseous Surgery Involve?
After the area is numb, the gum tissue is gently opened around the teeth in the area of concern. Bacterial deposits are then removed from the tooth surfaces and the inside of the gum pockets. Uneven contours in the bone next to the teeth are smoothed. Finally the gum tissue is positioned back around the teeth and allowed to heal.
What are the Benefits of Osseous Surgery?
This type of periodontal treatment results in a healthier environment for the bone and gums that support your teeth. The deep pockets where bacteria hide and can’t be removed decrease in depth. Now with proper technique, your toothbrush is able to reach the areas where the bacteria that cause periodontal disease collect. It is easier for you to be effective at cleaning your teeth at home; having your teeth cleaned at the dental office will be more comfortable and easier for you, too. Your breath is fresh. Your gums don’t bleed when you floss or brush your teeth. Ultimatelly, the infection and bone loss around your teeth are stopped. Your teeth are saved from extraction.