Gum disease is a serious oral health issue that affects more than just your gums. As the condition reaches more advanced stages, bacteria travel below the gum line and begin attacking your periodontal ligaments and your jawbone. These supporting structures weaken over time, which can compromise the stability of your teeth. When this happens, your teeth become loose and may even fall out. At Karl Zeren DDS, we can use guided tissue regeneration to restore missing bone mass around your teeth to restore their stability within your jaw.
What Happens As The Jawbone Weakens?
When you have gum disease, bacteria irritate your gums and cause them to become inflamed. Without treatment, the gum tissue begins to pull away from the teeth. This leads to the formation of periodontal pockets, Bacteria fall into these pockets and continue attacking the gums. Over time the pockets grow deeper, and the bacteria reach your periodontal ligaments and your jawbone. Here, the bacteria begin attacking these supporting structures, causing the loss of bone mass. This loss of mass causes the bone to weaken. Your teeth become loose and unstable. They can begin shifting out of proper alignment. Eventually, they may even fall out.
What Is Guided Tissue Regeneration?
Guided tissue regeneration, or GTR, is a minimally invasive surgical procedure that is performed to encourage the regrowth of bone mass, as well as periodontal ligament tissue and connective tissues that provide support for your teeth. First, incisions are made in your gums so that we can effectively clean your teeth and the bone. Next, a mesh membrane, either resorbable or non-resorbable, is placed over the damaged bone. This may be done with or without bone grafting material. Bone grafting material may be required if you have lost a significant amount of bone mass.
The membrane functions to provide the necessary space between the bone and your gum tissue, preventing gum tissue from taking up space where bone should be. Finally, your gums are sutured closed over the membrane. A resorbable membrane will dissolve on its own over time and does not require an additional procedure to remove it. If a non-resorbable membrane was used, it is removed after a specified amount of time. In about six months, new bone and other supporting structures regenerate to provide support for your teeth.
The Benefits Of Guided Tissue Regeneration
One of the greatest benefits of guided tissue regeneration is that it is a minimally invasive procedure that helps to prevent tooth loss by restoring the tissues that provide support for your teeth. Regenerating the tissues that provide support for your teeth helps to improve their strength as well as the stability of your teeth. Not only does this prevent tooth loss, but it also prevents the need for tooth extractions. Additionally, by preventing the loss of your compromised teeth, you avoid the need for larger bone grafts as well as the need for tooth replacements. Guided tissue regeneration is an effective treatment for restoring missing bone mass around your teeth, helping to improve their stability and reduce their risk of falling out.