Do you notice that your gums are bleeding when you brush or floss your teeth? Are your gums and teeth sore or have your teeth started shifting? These symptoms may be signs of the early stages of gum disease.
Gum disease is caused when bacteria inside your mouth infect the tissues around the roots of your teeth. Although the most common signs are bleeding or sore gums, gum disease can be present without any symptoms. Left untreated it can cause you to lose teeth and can have serious consequences for your gums and jawbones. Recent research also links gum disease to other health conditions such as heart disease and diabetes.
The best prevention for gum disease is regular brushing, flossing and professional cleaning to remove the plaque and tartar from your teeth. In cases where the early stages of gum disease are present, more advanced periodontal treatments may be required. We offer a variety of periodontal treatments to prevent and treat the damage caused by gum disease.
Scaling and root planing are non-surgical treatments for gum disease. They work by cleaning and smoothing your tooth down to the root to remove tartar and smooth any areas of your tooth where there is a risk of tartar building or inflammation. To scale your teeth we use special tools, similar to the tools a hygienist uses to clean your teeth, to scrape tartar and plaque off your teeth. We may use a local anesthetic to numb the area to reduce your discomfort. Root planing uses a special tool to smooth areas of the root to reduce the chances of tartar and plaque build-up and to reduce the possibility of your gums becoming inflamed.
When a tooth is removed, there is a risk that the bone surrounding the empty socket could shrink possibly causing the socket to collapse, changing the appearance of your gum, or making it impossible to place a dental implant in the future. To prevent this from happening we preserve the socket by using a bone graft or other method to augment the existing bone tissue.
If your bone tissue has been damaged by an infection, or if we need to build up and strengthen your existing bone to support a dental implant, we can rebuild your bone tissue with a bone graft. When we perform a bone graft we place grafted bone tissue into the area we want to build up. Over a few months your body will absorb the grafted tissue and build new bone around it, strengthening the area.
When bacteria is permitted to grow around the base of your teeth, it can gradually form small "pockets" where your gum tissue pulls back from your teeth. Over time, these pockets can get deeper and can become infected. When this happens it becomes necessary to surgically "shorten" the pockets so bacteria can't get into them.
Sometimes the connective tissue between the floor of your mouth and your tongue, or between your upper lip and your upper gum, can be too short or restrictive, causing discomfort and pain. To relieve this discomfort we can remove or loosen this tissue in a procedure known as a frenectomy.
If your gum tissue is damaged by injury, infection or surgery, we can restore it by grafting new gum tissue over the damaged area. We can also use gum tissue grafts to make cosmetic enhancements to your mouth such as reducing your crown length.
Crown lengthening is a procedure used to prepare a tooth to be restored with a crown, filling or other restoration. Sometimes a tooth is broken off close to or beneath the gum line or you may need a restoration that covers a part of the tooth that is covered by the gum line. In such cases the bone level is reduced (exposing more of your crown) so we can access the areas of the tooth to be restored.
If you suffer from the symptoms of gum disease, or if you'd like to know more about how periodontal treatments can benefit you, give us a call today.