Gum disease is a serious condition, and oral surgery is often needed in order to correct it. Gum disease starts as gingivitis and can make gums red, swollen, and bleed slightly. It is uncomfortable but not particularly painful. When caught early, it can be treated by conducting a deep cleaning on and underneath the gums. If it is left untreated, the gums can start to recede and expose more of the tooth and root structure. This can be painful and create complications.
Patients with severe gum disease may start to have pockets form in the gum tissue. These pockets can look like little holes in the gums. Bacteria will often gather here and can start to attack the tooth and root structure which puts teeth at risk. If untreated, teeth can start to fall out or require additional procedures in order to save them.
Many dentists will treat the beginning stages of gum disease by performing cleanings but are not experts at treating severe gum disease. This typically requires oral surgery and a gum graft. In this procedure, tissue is taken from the roof of the mouth and grafted to the receding gums in order to close up the pocket and secure the gums back in place around the tooth. This is essential for protecting teeth and preventing any additional complications like a dental abscess. At the Perio & Implant Center we specialize in this procedure and will ensure that it goes smoothly so that patients can start to feel better quickly.
The Risks of Gum Disease
There are many risks associated with gum disease that go far beyond oral health. This is the primary concern as gum disease can lead to teeth falling out. There are, however, other complications to consider. Pregnant women are in particular danger as gum disease can force pre-term labor and even make babies born at a low birth weight. Just as regular trips to the OBGYN are essential during pregnancy, so are trips to the dentist and having any gum disease treated right away. This is a simple step that can make a big difference in the health of the child.
Every adult should be concerned with the health of their gums since scientists have found a link between gum disease and heart disease. Statistically, 91 % of people with heart disease also have unhealthy gums. Heart disease is the leading cause of death in both women and men with 33% of female deaths and 25% of male deaths caused by heart disease. The current thought is that inflamed gums are the primary issue, but ongoing studies are being conducted to further research how the two are connected. What is clear is that leaving gum disease untreated is not an option for people wanting to stay in good health.
If you need oral surgery to treat your gum disease, the staff at the Perio & Implant Center is a team of experts. Call (650) 327-4464 for your consultation or to learn more about our services.