When gingivitis goes untreated, periodontal disease can occur. The symptoms are similar, including: swelling, tenderness, bleeding gums, bad breath, mouth sores, and change in gum color and structure. Periodontal disease usually also includes loose teeth and can eventually cause teeth to fall out. When teeth start spacing out, pockets can form and become infected as well.
Periodontal disease isn’t the end for your teeth, however. Even with progressed damage, there are treatments for periodontal disease that can be effective in restoring your smile. These treatments include:
- Scaling and Root Planing: This process loosens, removes, and smooths out bacteria that grows in the gums, leaving the area clean for the gums to reconnect with teeth.
- Flap/Pocket Reduction Surgery: Gums are lifted back, tartar is removed, and gums are replaced to tightly fit around teeth, leaving less room for bacteria to grow.
- Bone/Soft Tissue Grafts: Your own bone, tissue or donated bone or tissue is used to replace that which you have lost. The bone and tissue will regrow and restore teeth.
- Guided Tissue Regeneration: A small piece of fabric is placed between the bone and tissue, keeping tissue from growing where bone should be.
- Bone Surgery: This procedure polishes holes in holes in the bone due to extreme bone loss. This can be done after flap surgery to reshape the bone around the tooth.
Whatever treatment option you choose, or is necessary, it is crucial that you take necessary steps afterwards to prevent further damage. To avoid ever needing these procedures, be sure to practice good oral health — brush twice a day, floss once a day, and visit your dentist regularly. Periodontal disease is caused by advanced gingivitis, so if you ever notice your gums flaring up or causing you pain, get in contact with a dental professional.