Healthy gums are a very important component of positive oral health. As the structures that support the teeth, it is critical that the gums, bones and ligaments stay in top condition. But the unfortunate reality is that many people do not take proper care of their gums. Statistics show that nearly half of all adults develop some type of periodontitis, also known as gum disease. This can lead to serious consequences if it is left untreated. Our practice offers a wide variety of periodontal treatments and services that are designed to help patients overcome periodontitis at all stages of the condition.
Periodontitis occurs when the gums become irritated due to prolonged exposure to bacteria, tartar and plaque. This is often the result of poor brushing and flossing habits that leave unwanted materials between the teeth for extended periods of time. The first sign of periodontitis is usually tender and swollen gum tissue that appears darkened in color and may begin to bleed when the patient brushes or flosses. The symptoms may seem minor, and the patient may choose to ignore the problem.
As the condition progresses, the gum tissue will begin to retract and pull away from the teeth. When this happens, empty spaces called periodontal pockets start to form. These spaces make great environments for bacteria, tartar and plaque to flourish. Once a greater amount of harmful matter is present, the condition can spread throughout the rest of the mouth more easily. Eventually, it can make its way to the jawbone and the connective tissues of the teeth. If this happens, it is highly probable that tooth loss will follow. But if the condition is dealt with early enough and managed properly, then it is very likely that this can be prevented.
McLeanSmiles offers the following treatments and services for stopping periodontitis and reversing its harmful effects:
Scaling and root planing is a time-tested and proven treatment method for beating gum disease in its earlier stages. The scaling process involves using specialized dental tools to reach deep below the individual’s gum line so that any harmful bacteria, tartar and plaque can be cleaned out. We then perform root planing to smooth out the root surfaces and prevent future buildups from occurring. These combined processes are highly effective in stopping the spread of gum disease and for preventing the condition from arising again in the future. However, more serious cases of periodontitis will typically require more advanced treatment.
A gingivectomy goes beyond what is possible with traditional scaling and root planing. As such, it is reserved for more progressed cases of periodontitis. The procedure involves removing and reshaping any loose and diseased gum tissue, thereby eliminating any periodontal pockets that have developed. This can stop the gum disease from spreading to the jawbone and make the condition much easier to manage moving forward. From there, the patient must make sure to take proper care of their gums so that the healing process can occur.
Unlike traditional periodontal treatments that use physical dental tools, periodontal laser treatments use an advanced laser to access and remove the swollen gum tissue that exists around the roots of teeth. By using this powerful laser, our experts can eliminate the heavily accumulated tartar and plaque. We can also smooth out the root surfaces to prevent future buildups. The main benefit of periodontal laser treatments is that they tend to feature reduced pain and faster recovery periods than conventional periodontal treatments and services that involve cutting into the gums.
Reducing the size of periodontal pockets and eliminating them altogether is a very important step in treating periodontitis. In order to accomplish this goal, the periodontal pockets must be properly accessed, and any harmful buildups must be removed. We can then apply a special antimicrobial liquid to the empty to pockets to prevent additional accumulations and promote healing. Once the treatment is complete, the pockets should begin to reduce in size and eventually disappear entirely.
Tooth loss is a problem that frequently occurs with periodontitis. When a tooth is missing, that particular area of the jawbone will begin to deteriorate and decay. This can make it difficult to install dental implants later on. In order to prevent this from happening, a ridge preservation procedure will likely be provided if an implant cannot be installed right away. This involves applying special proteins and artificial bone material to the direct area as a way of preventing any deterioration. This can be very helpful if a dental implant is ever installed later on to replace the missing tooth.
Periodontitis is best treated early on. By receiving help for the condition as early as possible, the patient has the best chance for avoiding any serious oral health consequences that could follow. If you believe that you may be suffering from periodontitis, please do not hesitate to seek treatment. The earlier that you receive help, the easier it will be for you to restore your oral health. Please call us at (203) 293-0030 to schedule an appointment.