Authored by Mary Lamphere in Diseases
Published on 12-03-2009
The treatment of gum infection depends on the type of infection that is present as well as the severity of the infection. Periodontal disease can be treated via non surgical therapy or surgical means depending on the stage of the infection itself.
For gum infection that is at the beginning stages in which the gums are still intact but there is infection present a non surgical treatment method is most commonly used. For more advanced stages of gum infection it may be necessary for a periodontist to perform surgery on the gums in order to treat the infection and prevent the disease from spreading.
Non Surgical Treatment for Gum Infection
Non surgical treatment for gum infection is known as root planning treatment. Root planning is a means of the periodontist or dentist scraping the roots of the teeth around the infected gums. As much of the infection as possible is scraped away from the area using a dental probe. Usually the dentist will apply an anesthetic such as Novocaine to the affected area before performing this non surgical treatment for gum infection.
Following root planning, the gums will be allowed to heal for at least 4 weeks before determining how much of the gum infection treatment actually was effective. Often times, a dentist or periodontist will also prescribe an antibiotic to be taken regularly to prevent the gum infection from progressing any further. Additional root planning treatments may be required to return the gums to an infection free state.
Surgical Treatment for Gum Infection
In some cases, gum infection that is left untreated surpasses a state in which non surgical treatment is effective and the periodontist may require surgical treatment of the disease. When a periodontist performs surgical treatment of gum infection he will actually remove a part of the gum that is infected so that the infection is no longer present within the mouth.
Surgical treatment for gum infection is both painful and costly. Sometimes, the periodontist will find that surgical treatment is necessary even after non surgical treatment methods have been attempted. While surgical treatment of gum infection does not necessarily save all of the teeth, there is a good chance that it can provide effective relief that will at least save some of the teeth that would otherwise have been lost.
In severe cases, gum infections can sometimes sink into the bone and jaw area of the mouth. If this happens, the periodontist or oral surgeon may require the removal of certain sections of the bone in order to prevent the disease from further spreading and harming more tissues. Following the removal of infected tissue, there still may be the need for additional periodontal surgeries to prevent the gum disease from spreading in the future.
The periodontist may also require that a regimen of antibiotics be taken both before and after surgical treatment of a gum infection. Taking antibiotics before the surgery will assure that infected tissue that could be saved with non surgical treatment is in fact saved. After surgery, antibiotics will be necessary to assure that the patient is not at risk for additional infection around the treated area.