It is a common misconception that natural teeth are directly affixed to the jaw bone. In fact, the root of a tooth is embedded by elastic and thick fibers to its socket. The gum forms a tight collar around the tooth, protecting the socket from possible invasion of bacteria. If plaque is present, an inflammation of the collar may occur (gingivitis). If left untreated, gingivitis will cause a degradation of the tooth bed and the jaw bone (periodontitis).
Periodontitis is a disease limited to the Periodontium. Nevertheless, teeth are still at risk, since bone resorption generally leads to their loosening and eventual loss (in the worst case).

How is gum disease treated?

The kind of treatment to be used heavily depends on the disorder's type and level of advancement. It ranges from "normal" oral hygiene and scaling to an involved surgical procedure.
We pay particular attention to the early detection of periodontal disease, since its stage (to which the disorder has advanced) has a great impact on the kind of the therapy to be employed. When gum disease is diagnosed, an individual treatment plan will be devised. An early treatment delivers the best healing results (e.g. in cases of Periodontitis).

How is Gingivitis treated?

Symptoms of gingivitis are swollen and reddened gums, which spontaneously bleed on contact. The presence of a strong mouth odor is also likely.
Signs of inflammation disappear within a few days after the removal of plaque (professional oral hygiene). Additional treatments will not be necessary. Usually, a supplemental mouthwash is prescribed.
Untreated gingivitis causes periodontitis!!!

How is Periodontitis treated?

An existing periodontitis can usually be cured. Even a standstill of the disease (discontinuation of inflammation and bone loss) is considered a success, since a reconstruction of the lost periodontium is only rarely possible.

First, periodontal findings are collected (pocket measurement, bleeding index, mobility of teeth classification, home care). Then digital x-rays are made, so that the progression of periodontal disease and the severity of bone loss can be classified.

Next, a personal treatment plan will be arranged with you, which generally will entail the following:

  • Professional oral hygiene: cleaning of teeth in the depths of periodontal pockets. Several sessions may be necessary. Nutritional counseling.
  • Extraction of non-salvageable teeth.
  • Scaling.
  • Removal of all niches of dirt in the mouth. Renewal of : old fillings, old crowns equipped with sharp edges (irritating gums), and areas where gum inflammation constantly resurfaces.
  • Identification of germs causing the bacteria.
  • Antibiotics (possibly) - locally or systemically.

The patient's own oral hygiene practice will be of utmost importance after a diagnosis.

To what extent periodontitis will actually progress depends largely on your own willingness to cooperate with the dentist and the professional prevention staff!

The healing process will be closely monitored at follow-up appointments (3-4 times per year).

What is scaling?

Concretions are hardened bacterial deposits located on the root surfaces below the gum line. Concretions not removed in time cause periodontitis.
Scaling is a periodontal measure which removes tartar and plaque from deep periodontal pockets. Using special manual instruments (scalers, curettes) and various ultrasound approaches, tooth and root surfaces are mechanically cleaned of calculus.
Curettage requires skill, experience, and a fine sense of touch, as most of the work is done without visual contact and deep inside of the pockets.

Preliminary stages of periodontal disease can be often cured just by removing the concretion. Scaling is, in cases of advanced periodontitis, a preliminary step to an ensuing gum surgery.

In the initial phase of therapy, curettage may be repeated in a series of sessions until all teeth have been properly cleaned. From that point on it is only used on an as-needed basis.

What is a flap surgery?

A surgical treatment of the gums is one of the conventional methods utilized, when less invasive methods (such as scaling) are unable to produce the desired results.
The affected areas of the gums are opened and stubborn deposits and inflamed tissues are removed.
Disadvantage: in the case of advanced periodontitis much of the affected tissues have to be removed, causing the appearance of longer looking teeth. Many patients find this treatment to be cumbersome, since its focus is not the aesthetic result, but the medical emergency. The modern application of the GTR (Guided Tissue Regeneration ) is preferred in the frontal area of the oral cavity.

Preliminary stages of periodontal disease can be often cured just by removing the concretion. Scaling is, in cases of advanced periodontitis, a preliminary step to a ensuing gum surgery.

In the initial phase of therapy, curettage may be repeated in a series of sessions until the highest level of cleanliness has been achieved. From that point on it is only used on an as-needed basis.

What is a Guided Tissue Regeneration (GTR)?

Modern dentistry has developed procedures which aid in the regeneration of missing jaw bone substance. Guided Tissue Regeneration (GTR), or Guided Bone Regeneration (GBR), are measures which stimulate bone growth in essential areas. Based on this new foundation of bone, the periodontal apparatus can be regenerated to a point where the surrounding teeth can be preserved, and future interventions have a higher possibility of success. In our practice we had very positive experiences with both methods – be it separately or in combination. We have successfully treated everything from individual dental pockets to the entire dentition.