While preventive measures against gingivitis are far more desirable than any measure for getting rid of it, in this post we will focus on what needs to be done when gingivitis has, in fact, reared its ugly head.
Of course, the first thing to do once you’ve recognized the symptoms of gingivitis (chronic bad breath, pus around your teeth and gums, gums that are receding, bleeding, tender or red) is to make an appointment with your dentist. After examining you, your dentist will be able to select the best course of action for treating gingivitis, and whether to do so will require surgery.
Your dentist will most likely suggest one of the following:
A Professional Cleaning
If this is the remedy that your dentist prescribes, consider yourself lucky: your gingivitis is either mild or in its early stages. Your dentist will simply remove the plaque and gingivitis that have accumulated in your mouth and which are the source of your troubles. He will also most likely suggest that you come back in a few months for another cleaning in order to ensure that your gingivitis is gone and stays gone.
Scaling and Root Planing
Often called conventional periodontal therapy, scaling and root planning is another non-surgical treatment, although an anesthetic is applied. Your dentist will likely recommend this measure if he finds plaque and tartar that must be cleaned out from under the gum line. This process involves scraping away plaque and tartar and smoothening rough spots where the roots of your teeth are exposed, as those are areas where plaque and tartar are likely to accumulate.
The next few solutions are surgical and likely reserved for more serious cases of gingivitis.
Gingivitis can cause serious decay, often even wearing away at the jawbone which supports your teeth. This is where bone grafts come in. A dentist will take additional bone material and use them to fill in the holes which exist in the infected bone. This bone material is typically taken from elsewhere in your body, but it can also be donated or even synthetic.
If the jawbone is infected but not yet damaged beyond repair, flap surgery, also known as pocket reduction, may be the best treatment option for you. It involves decreasing the amount of space between your gums and teeth, as that is another place where plaque and tartar buildup. The gum flaps are lifted, buildup is removed, and gums are returned to their place so that there is little or no space between them and your teeth.
Soft Tissue Grafts
Not unlike bone grafts, soft tissue grafts are used to replace what has been worn away. Except in this case, it is the gums instead of the bone which are being reinforced. The extra tissue will most likely come from the roof of your mouth.
This operation is typically reserved for the most serious instances of gingivitis when the bone upon which your teeth and gums rest is completely beyond repair. A mesh-like fabric is inserted in between bone and gum in order to promote their regeneration.
These are the most common treatments for gingivitis, but hopefully, it will not come to that. If you brush and floss twice a day, it is unlikely that you will have to worry about gingivitis. But remember: if you begin to see the symptoms, call your dentist right away!