One of the most common oral health issues is gum disease. It’s also a major cause of tooth loss in adults.
The American Academy of Periodontology (AAP) estimates that approximately three out of four Americans suffer from some form of gum disease, which ranges from mild cases of gingivitis to the more severe form known as periodontitis.
If you develop advanced periodontitis, you may need dental surgery:
- Periodontal pocket reduction: If gum tissue doesn’t fit snugly around the tooth and you can’t keep the deep pocket area clean, you may need periodontal pocket reduction. A periodontist will fold back the gum tissue, remove infectious bacteria, and smooth areas of damaged bone, allowing gum tissue to reattach to healthy bone.
- Gum grafts: Roots that are exposed because of gum recession are covered with tissue taken from your palate or another source. These grafts help reduce sensitivity, protect roots from decay, and prevent further gum recession and bone loss.
- Bone grafting: To help your body regrow bone and tissue, your periodontist will remove bacteria and place either natural or synthetic bone and tissue-stimulating proteins around the area where bone has been lost.
- Dental implants: If you must have teeth removed, you can be fitted with a dental implant. This is an artificial tooth root that is placed into the jaw to hold a replacement tooth.
Learn more about gum disease, prevention, and treatment.