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Suffered Bone Loss Due To Periodontal Disease? 2 Surgical Options

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Approximately 70 percent of Canadians will deal with some form of gum disease during their lifetimes.  If left untreated, a serious form of gum disorder, known as periodontal disease, can lead to a myriad of oral health problems.  In some patients, periodontal disease even leads to bone loss.  If you've suffered bone loss due to this condition, consider the following 2 surgical options.

Bone Grafting

Periodontal disease is a serious gum inflammation that is caused from an overload of bacteria in the mouth.  If a person doesn't seek help for this condition, his or her oral bone structure will eventually deteriorate.  This breakdown of bone can cause:

  • Your teeth to loosen

  • Your teeth to fall out

  • The need to remove your teeth

To compensate for the tragic effects of bone loss in the mouth, many dental professionals recommend surgical procedures such as bone grafting.  Before bone grafting takes place, most dentists advise their patients to undergo:

  • Root Planing – This type of procedure involves a thorough cleaning of the gums and teeth.  To prevent pain, you are usually given a mild anesthetic.  During root planing, your dentist makes the uneven parts of your teeth smooth again.  The process results in a smooth surface that allows your gums to reattach to your teeth.  

  • Scaling – Scaling often accompanies a root planing procedure.  During scaling, a dentist carefully gets rid of tartar and plaque deposits both above and below your gum line.  This task is accomplished through scraping your gums with a specialized tool.

On the day of your bone grafting surgery, you will be given a localized anesthetic to prevent pain.  During bone grafting, a surgeon:

  • Detaches your gums from your teeth to enable him or her to work on your bone and tooth roots

  • Cleans the roots of your teeth carefully

  • Fills in the gaps in your bone with a certain type of material

  • Protects the graft by placing a barrier over it

  • Reattaches your gums to your teeth

  • Closes the incision with stitches

  • Applies a bandage to the wound

When choosing the material for a bone graft, dentists have several options.  Common material used as a bone graft include:

  • Bone from a cow

  • Bone from a deceased person

  • Bone from your own body

  • Certain types of man-made glasses

Like bone graft material, a dental professional can choose from among numerous alternatives when selecting a type of protective barrier to place over the graft.  Popular barriers include those constructed from:

  • Cow skin

  • Human skin

  • Man-made materials

While bone grafting can be a successful procedure to compensate for periodontal bone loss, it is not without risks.  Patients who undergo this type of surgery face increased risks for suffering:

  • Swelling

  • An infection

  • Bleeding

  • Cavities

  • Tooth sensitivity to hot and cold food items

  • Receding gums

Guided Tissue Regeneration

Besides bone grafting, guided tissue regeneration can help people recover from devastating bone loss due to the ravages of periodontal disease.  This surgical option encourages new gum tissue and bone development.  Scaling is usually done at the beginning of a guided tissue regeneration procedure.

Once this important step has been completed, the surgeon implants a lattice-type material between your gum tissue and existing bone structure.  This process prevents your gum tissue from extending into the part of your mouth that should only contain bone.  After guided tissue regeneration, your bone should start to regrow.  This benefit will provide a better supporting infrastructure for your teeth.

If you've suffered bone loss due to periodontal disease, you may feel like all hope is lost.  Fortunately, with the recent advances in dentistry, you can compensate for bone loss.  The aforementioned 2 surgical procedures have reversed the damages of periodontal disease in some patients.  To learn more about these alternatives and other options, make an appointment with a trusted dentist today.