Periodontal disease is a chronic inflammatory condition of the gum and the bones around your teeth, causing bleeding, pain, sensitivity, gum recession or swelling and ultimately bone destruction and tooth loss! Additionally, periodontal disease can increase a San Diego patient’s risk of stroke, heart attack, Alzheimers, pneumonia, diabetes, pregnancy complications and many other health conditions. Any degree of periodontal disease requires specialized treatment by periodontal experts like Dr. Beck. She can make your mouth healthier, help preserve your teeth and smile for years to come, and improve your overall health!
If you need advanced periodontal treatment or gum surgery in San Diego then look no further. As a highly trained board certified periodontist, Dr. Beck performs a wide number of periodontal surgery procedures everyday, including pocket reduction, gum and bone grafting, and even cutting edge regenerative procedures utilizing stem cell technology to repair and stimulate growth of damaged gum and bone. This type of advanced periodontal treatment may be indicated for a number of reasons, such as treatment of severe periodontal disease, or receding gums, or gum recontouring to improve the appearance of a gummy smile. Periodontal surgery is performed under local anesthesia (numbing of the area) and is usually completed in less than 2 hours, with minimal discomfort and rapid recovery. Sedation is also available, because your comfort is our highest priority!
Gum Surgery for the Treatment of Periodontal Disease
Gum surgery for the treatment of periodontal disease often involves loosening the gum tissue from the affected area to remove calculus (bacteria deposits) from deep beneath your gums. These bacterial deposits form on the tooth root deep beneath the gum and are very tightly adhered to the root surface-think of barnacles on a boat! These deposits are actually very small bacterial colonies made up of millions of individual bacteria, which release high levels of toxins into the nearby tissue. And because this bacteria is far beneath the gum tissue, the gums must be pulled away from the tooth root so that the bacterial deposits can be scraped off and the tooth root cleaned and detoxified.
To complicate things further, when the bacterial toxins erode the bone, the bone becomes jagged and uneven, and needs to be smoothed to allow proper healing of the gums and elimination of the pocket. This process is referred to as “osseous surgery”, and is often combined with additional procedures to accelerate healing and regenerate the damaged bone and gum. These additional procedures may include use of growth factors like Emdogain or Gem 21. Growth factors are proteins that stimulate the stem cells in the surrounding areas to come into the wounded area and facilitate healing. The growth factors are usually in the form of a gel that is applied to the cleaned and detoxified root surface, after bone reshaping.
If the bone loss is severe, bone grafting our guided tissue regeneration may be recommended. A bone graft is a mineralized powder that usually originates from donor bone that is purchased from a tissue bank. It looks like kosher salt and helps provide your stem cells with the vital minerals they need to regrow your damaged bone. In some cases it may also be necessary to utilize a collagen dressing, or membrane, to contain the mineralized powdered bone graft and keep it in place under the gums during healing. This procedure is referred to as guided tissue regeneration (GTR). In really severe cases all of these techniques may be required to restore the health of your tooth, gum, and surrounding bone.
After osseous surgery, with or without growth factors, bone grafting, or GTR, the gums are then secured in place with small stitches that usually dissolve within a few days. Because periodontal disease is a chronic inflammatory condition of the gum and the bones around your teeth, it is important to seek care as soon as a problem is identified; and simply taking antibiotics will not suffice. In severe periodontal disease, the bacteria actually penetrate into the tooth root and can be impossible to remove (or kill) without physical removal (remember those boat barnacles?)
If you think you may have periodontal disease, rest assured that you have found the right place. Board certified periodontists like Dr. Beck are THE experts in the treatment of periodontal disease and she can help you achieve the healthy, beautiful smile you deserve. Call our San Diego office at (858) 924-0191.