Also known as periodontology, periodontics is a sub-field of dentistry that concerns the supporting structures of teeth, most notably the gums and mouth bones. One of the most common oral health issues today is periodontal disease, better known as gum disease.
Characterized by infection and inflammation of the gums, periodontal disease is initially caused by toxins present in plaque irritating the gums. As the disorder progresses, the gums will retract from the teeth. This creates spaces known as periodontal pockets, which become home to large amounts of tartar, bacteria and plaque. If periodontal disease is left untreated, it can eventually lead to tooth loss.
At Admire Dental Southgate, we understand the seriousness of gum disease, and we strongly advise patients to seek treatment as quickly as possible. We provide many treatment options that are designed to both stop the spread of gum disease and restore the appearance of the teeth and gums to a healthy, natural look.
Gum Graft Surgery
As periodontal disease progresses, the gums will pull away from the teeth, resulting in a receding gum line. Not only does this create an unsightly appearance, it also exposes the roots of the teeth, which opens up the door for a dangerous infection. This problem can often be corrected using gum graft surgery. This procedure consists of harvesting tissue from another part of the mouth to cover up the exposed roots. By doing this, infections are prevented, and the natural appearance of the gums is restored.
Periodontal laser treatment uses a special dental laser to access and remove any inflamed gum tissue that is present around the root of a tooth. Once the swollen gum tissue has been removed, built-up plaque is scraped away and rough spots are smoothed out to prevent future infections. As the healing process occurs, the gum line will start regenerating and eventually reattach itself to the teeth. Laser treatment offers some key benefits over other forms periodontal treatment, most notably reduced pain and shorter recovery times.
Dental Crown Lengthening
Dental crown lengthening is a cosmetic procedure that is used to fix the appearance of a “gummy” smile caused by inflamed gum tissue. The treatment involves removing and reshaping excess gum tissue to expose more of the patient’s natural tooth. Dental crown lengthening may also be used to access teeth that have experienced damage or decay below the gum line so that they can be repaired.
Scaling and Root Planing
Scaling and root planing is a non-surgical treatment method that is designed to remove all of the plaque, tartar and toxins that have built-up both above and below the gum line. The scaling process uses special dental tools to remove plaque from the teeth and the root surfaces. Once completed, root planing is conducted to smooth out the rough areas that are present on the root surfaces. This allows the gums to properly heal and eventually reattach themselves to the teeth.
Root Surface Debridement
Root surface debridement consists of a deep cleaning of the root surfaces. This process is specifically designed to remove all deposits of harmful bacteria, plaque and tartar. Root surface debridement reaches deep within the areas between teeth, even accessing areas that are impossible to reach through normal brushing and flossing.
This treatment method is conducted only after deep pockets from periodontal disease have developed within the gums. At this point, the gum disease can easily spread to the jawbone and cause serious damage. Seeking treatment as quickly as possible is extremely important if gum disease is allowed to progress to this critical level.
Regenerative procedures are used when gum disease has reached a point that it has already caused damage to the jawbone and the connective tissues of teeth. These treatments generally work by folding back the gum tissue and removing any dangerous bacteria and toxins that are present. Next, artificial bone grafts and special proteins are applied to the damaged jawbone to try to reverse as much of the damage as possible. This stimulates bone growth to start the healing process, which can be quite extensive depending on the severity of the damage.
Severe cases of gum disease may warrant certain surgical procedures that involve cutting into the gum line. This is done to conduct an even deeper cleaning than one that can be conducted through typical scaling and root planing. In most cases, gum surgery is comprised of cleaning deep below the gum line, removing excess gum tissue and using a gum graft to cover up exposed tooth roots.
If you are suffering from gum disease and you would like to learn more about the treatment options that are available to you, please call us at (734) 441-0200 to schedule an appointment.