Gum Disease, also called Gingivitis, is inflammation of the gums, which is a form of periodontal disease. Periodontal disease is inflammation and infection that destroys the tissues that support the teeth, including the gums, the periodontal ligaments, and the tooth sockets (alveolar bone).
Symptoms can include bleeding gums, bright red or red-purple appearance to gums, tender and/or swollen gums, mouth sores, bad breath that won’t go away, painful chewing, loose teeth, sensitive teeth, and receding gums or longer appearing teeth.
The most common method of treatment is hygienic. The dentist will clean your teeth, remove deposits, and prescribe a more in-depth cleaning regimen. They may also recommend antibacterial mouth wash or rinse.
Surgery might be necessary if inflammation and deep pockets remain following treatment with deep cleaning and medications. A dentist or periodontist may perform flap surgery to remove tartar deposits in deep pockets or to reduce the periodontal pocket and make it easier for the patient, dentist, and hygienist to keep the area clean. In addition to flap surgery, your periodontist or dentist may suggest procedures to help regenerate any bone or gum tissue lost to periodontitis. Bone grafting, in which natural or synthetic bone is placed in the area of bone loss, can help promote bone growth. A technique that can be used with bone grafting is called guided tissue regeneration. In this procedure, a small piece of mesh-like material is inserted between the bone and gum tissue. This keeps the gum tissue from growing into the area where the bone should be, allowing the bone and connective tissue to regrow.