Right now, over half of the adult population in the US has a form of periodontal disease, better known as gum disease. This is a bacterial infection that damages the gums as well as the roots of the teeth and nearby bone. It can cause swelling, inflammation, gum recession, and eventually—tooth loss! When you come to MMS Family Dentistry, we’ll not only take care of your teeth, but your entire mouth, so if we find any signs of periodontal disease, you can trust we’ll eliminate it right away. Do your gums feel sensitive or tend to bleed whenever you clean your teeth? If so, contact us today so we can take care of the problem before it becomes worse!
If someone doesn’t brush and floss their teeth regularly, this allows plaque and tartar to build up in their mouth. It’s well known that this can lead to cavities, but it’s also the main source of periodontal disease. Scaling is a type of cleaning we use to remove these harmful substances from below the gum line, and then we smooth out the tooth’s roots with root planing. This makes it more difficult for plaque and tartar to accumulate near the gums in the future. It helps speed up healing as well.
In addition to a scaling and root planing treatment, our team may also choose to apply a topical antibiotic to the gums to clean those areas that are too small to reach with manual tools. Once in place, the antibiotic will seep deep down into the tiny spaces located between the teeth and gums where bacteria love to hide. This treatment can also reduce the size of these pockets, protecting a patient from reinfection.
As gum disease advances, pockets of bacteria can form along the gum line, creating loose patches of tissue that pull away from the teeth and gather bacteria. A gingivectomy is a minor procedure in which we remove this tissue in order to eliminate the pockets. It also enables our team to better clean the roots of the teeth.
A gingivoplasty, on the other hand, enables us to change the contour of the gum line in order to improve the appearance of the smile. We can use it to help the teeth appear longer to create a more balanced and attractive look.
If the patient is dealing with highly infected and/or significantly recessed gum structure, we may recommend a dedicated bone graft. During this procedure, our team will fold back the tissue and clean away any harmful bacteria before placing the grafting material. This type of graft has several valuable benefits – it can repair damage caused by gum disease while also creating a fuller, more pleasant appearance for the patient’s smile. It can also reduce the risk of losing one’s natural teeth in the future.
Gum recession, in which the gum tissue actually pulls away from the teeth, is one of the most common symptoms of periodontal disease. This not only negatively affects the look of the smile, but it can also make someone more likely to experience tooth loss! Guided tissue regeneration can help correct this, however. Using a few small incisions and a collagen membrane, we can reposition the gum line back to its original place and encourage the growth of new, healthy tissue to restore a patient’s appearance and well-being.