Periodontal disease (also known as gum disease) is one of the leading causes of tooth loss in adults. It is a bacterial infection that attacks the bone underlying your teeth. We can treat and reverse it with nonsurgical treatments in its early stages, but if it is in an advanced stage and has caused the loss of a significant amount of bone, we may need to employ osseous surgery.
How Periodontal Disease Spreads
Bacteria forms plaque when it is allowed to grow, and plaque that remains on the teeth forms acidic toxins. These toxins inflame the gum tissue, making it bleed easily. A good brushing and flossing regimen can fix this, as can professional dental cleanings and exams.
However, if we don't take care of this, the plaque will harden and become tartar. At this stage, we'll need to employ a professional deep cleaning known as scaling and root planing. This will eliminate the tartar from under the gums and smooth out the root surfaces. That should fix the problem in many cases, but if the tartar has formed deep pockets or destroyed too much bone, you may need osseous surgery.
What is Osseous Surgery?
In an osseous surgical procedure, Dr. Eshraghi removes and reshapes the damaged bone near the affected tooth. The results are that bacteria is removed, pockets are reduced, and the bone can reattach to gum tissue. Local anesthesia is used for this procedure.
Dr. Eshraghi will make a small cut in the gum tissue to expose the nearby bone and tooth root. He will suture back the gum tissue to minimize pocket size. Then he will scrape residue off the tooth's surface and reshape any jagged bone. If the bone loss is considerable, you may need a bone graft. Treatment times vary, but we'll give you an estimate before we begin.
Post-Op Healing Period
After the surgery is complete, Dr. Eshraghi will use gauze to cover the affected area and stop any bleeding. You will receive post-op instructions, which includes the following:
[[[Change the gauze if you experience further bleeding.
~Use over-the-counter pain medications to manage discomfort.
~If you experience any swelling, use ice packs and rinse your mouth with warm salt water.
~Return within a week or so for a follow-up appointment so we can check the healing process.]]]
Each patient heals differently, but within a day or two they can usually return to eating normally. We would also like you to come in for cleanings and exams more frequently in the future. But even if you have no need for osseous surgery, a zealous dental hygiene plan will go a long way in preventing this disease. Dr. Eshraghi may also recommend a mouthwash that kills 99% of bacteria on contact.
Dealing with periodontal disease in earlier phases is a better outcome than osseous surgery. Preventing it with good dental care and professional cleanings are even better. But if the condition gets to a severe stage, we may need to use this form of surgery to save your tooth.
If you have any other questions or concerns, please give us a call at (971) 317-8414.