If you've been diagnosed with gum disease, there are a variety of treatment options depending on the details of your situation and the severity of the problem. We always start with the least invasive options, which are non-surgical. However, in more serious cases, surgery may be necessary.
If you've been diagnosed with gum disease, there are a variety of treatment options depending on the severity of the problem.
Scaling and Root Planing
The first line of defense against gum disease is a unique type of cleaning called “scaling and root planing.” In this procedure, an ultrasonic cleaning device is used to remove plaque and tartar from your teeth where regular cleaning devices can't reach: under the gum line, on the tooth, and around the root. Then, the rough surface of the tooth and the root are smoothed out (planed). This provides a healthy, clean surface that makes it easier for the gum tissue to reattach to the tooth.
If you address your gum disease before it becomes severe, scaling and root planing may be the only treatment you need. However, as with any dental procedure, after-care is vital. In order to keep your teeth in good shape and resist future occurrences of gum disease, you must brush and floss daily, eat a healthy diet, avoid tobacco use, and have regular dental checkups. Even after a successful scaling and root planing, if you don't attend to your teeth properly, it's quite likely that you'll develop gum disease again.
Perio Protect uses patient specific trays to deliver antibacterial agents deep into the periodontal pockets and between teeth to help reduce bacterial build-up in these hard-to-reach places. This system is also good for patients who have trouble flossing daily due to dexterity problems like arthritis. Typically the trays are used daily
Surgical Treatment Options
If the tissue or bone surrounding your teeth is too damaged to be repaired with non-surgical treatment, several surgical options are available to prevent severe damage and to restore a healthy smile. We will recommend the procedure that is best suited to the condition of your teeth and gums. Following is a list of common types of periodontal surgery:
Pocket Depth Reduction
During pocket reduction procedures (also known as “flap surgery”), we fold back the gum tissue to expose the root surfaces and remove the bacteria and tarter. Once the teeth are cleaned, the gum tissue is replaced. The goal of the procedure is to minimize the pockets and make things easier for patients to clean.
When the bone and tissue supporting the teeth have been lost due to severe gum disease, there are times we can restore these areas with a regeneration procedure. During this process, bone graft material (donated tissue) is used to fill bone defects that have developed around the teeth. The goal of the procedure is to regenerate as much of the lost bone around the teeth as possible.
Soft Tissue Graft
Gum grafting will cover the exposed roots to protect them from decay, help reduce tooth sensitivity, and improve the aesthetics of your smile.
Laser Periodontal Therapy™ or LANAP is a laser-based procedure that addresses periodontal or gum disease using an Nd:YAG free running pulsed laser. Utilizing this technique, we are able to provide periodontal therapy with less pain, less swelling, less bleeding, less tissue removal, less down time, and less recovery time for our patients. Controlling periodontal disease makes it possible to save and restore otherwise hopelessly involved teeth.
A dental extraction is done for a variety of reasons. Tooth decay can destroy the structure of the tooth hindering the dentist from restoring the tooth with a filling or crown. Gum disease or periodontitis can destroy the bone and supporting structures around the tooth causing the tooth to become loose and unable to maintain normal function in the mouth. A tooth can also fracture from clenching or grinding teeth together. If this happens, the tooth is non-restorable and must be removed before infection occurs. Usually, dental extractions are completed under local anesthesia, but sedation is used in many cases like the removal of wisdom teeth.
Sometimes called lip-tie or tongue-tie, a frenectomy is a surgical procedure that removes the frenulum, which is a small piece of tissue in the body that restricts organ movement. In the mouth, the frenula are located under the tongue and below the lips in the middle of the face. When a frenulum is too short or too big it can cause problems with basic functions or hinder the health and well being of the mouth. If the lingual frenulum is too short under the tongue, it can restrict movement and limit speaking. This is usually diagnosed early in young children and is called ankyloglossia. Once the tissue is removed, normal function is restored. If the labial frenulum, located under the lips, is to short it can cause the gums to recede which can cause esthetic concerns and effect the health of the teeth. If the labial frenulum is too large, it can cause spacing between teeth called a diastema. A simple surgical procedure with local anesthetic removes the tissue and improves the oral health and function of the mouth.