Gum disease is a condition which causes pain, discomfort, and infection of the gums and, if left untreated, can contribute to tooth loss. While the early stages of gum disease, like gingivitis, can usually be treated with simply flossing regularly, you cannot treat the more advanced stage, called periodontitis, at home. Find out more about periodontitis, flap surgery, and whether this is the right treatment for you with Dr. Herbert Mendelson, Dr. Harold Mendelson, and Dr. Jeremy Rosenfeld at Mendelson Family Dentistry in Owning Mills, MD.
What is periodontitis?
The first stage of gum disease is a reversible condition called gingivitis. This stage produces bleeding, sore gums and usually clears up with regular flossing. If left untreated, gingivitis progresses into periodontitis, the more advanced stage of gum disease. At this stage, the gums pull away from the teeth to form pockets. Bacteria becomes trapped in the pockets, creating inflammation and infection. The body begins fighting off the bacteria which, in turn, damages the tooth’s bone and connective tissues, a process called atrophy. If left untreated, gum disease is a leading cause of tooth loss.
What is flap surgery?
Treating gum disease usually involves removing the offending decay. Removing the decay from the teeth gives the gums around them a chance to heal. Flap surgery for advanced periodontitis temporarily removes the gums from their positions over the teeth and allows your dentist to clean all the way up the tooth’s root. This method is thorough and effective in removing plaque but does require some downtime afterward. After your procedure, you will need to fully commit to a strong at-home oral care routine to avoid gum disease in the future. Your best defense against this condition is daily brushing and flossing with regular examinations by your dentist every six months.
Flap Surgery for Periodontitis in Owning Mills, MD
If you have the symptoms of gum disease, you could benefit from flap surgery. Symptoms include:
- unexplained bad breath
- swollen, irritated gums
- bleeding and tender gums
- loosened teeth
- sensitive teeth
- trouble chewing
- gums which recede or pull back from the tooth
For more information on flap surgery or how it can benefit you, please contact Dr. Herbert Mendelson, Dr. Harold Mendelson, and Dr. Jeremy Rosenfeld at Mendelson Family Dentistry in Owning Mills, MD. Call 410-356-4100 to schedule your appointment with your dentist today!