Gum disease is a serious oral health issue, although it doesn’t seem that way when it starts. When plaque and bacteria build up in your mouth, they irritate your gum tissues. This causes your body to send an inflammatory response, and your gums swell. Pockets between your gums and your teeth form, which allows bacteria to fall below the gum line. The bacteria then begin attacking your periodontal ligaments and jawbone. Eventually, you may be faced with gum recession, loose teeth, and tooth loss. At National Dental Sunnyside, we can stop the progression of gum disease and help your gums to heal with periodontal care.
Dental cleanings are an essential part of your oral healthcare routine. We recommend that you have at least two professional cleanings each year. Cleanings are designed to remove plaque, tartar (hardened plaque), bacteria and other debris from the surfaces of your teeth. We also get the areas of your mouth that you may not be able to reach at home. Cleanings are an important part of preventing gum disease in the first place.
SCALING AND ROOT PLANING
If you do develop gum disease, scaling and root planing may be needed. Scaling and root planing is essentially a deep clean of your teeth. We scrape the surfaces of your teeth, including just under the gum line (scaling), and smooth the roots of your teeth (root planing). This removes buildup, allowing your gums to heal.
For your gums to heal after scaling and root planing, we need to be able to perform the procedure thoroughly. When your gum tissue is inflamed, it can block the access we need to do this. Laser dentistry uses a high-intensity laser light to remove infected gum tissue, providing us with the access required for a proper cleaning. Laser dentistry minimizes bleeding during the procedure, and well as pain and swelling afterward.
POCKET REDUCTION SURGERY
As bacteria under your gums continue to attack from within, they cause more and more inflammation. Your gums continue to swell and continue to pull away from your teeth. As a result, your periodontal pockets grow deeper. If they are too deep, we will be unable to reach the buildup at the bottom of the pockets. This means that the bacteria can continue to grow, and a cleaning will never be effective. Pocket reduction surgery allows us to reach these areas. We make incisions in your gums to expose the roots of your teeth. We thoroughly clean them and then stitch your gums snugly against your teeth.
Gum disease can lead to both gum recession (as a result of your gums pulling away from your teeth) and bone loss in your jaw (as a result of bacteria attacking your jawbone). In the instance of gum recession, a soft tissue graft can be performed. A soft tissue graft involves taking soft tissue from elsewhere in your mouth (usually the roof of your mouth) and stitching it over the areas of recession. As you heal, the tissues fuse together, and a more natural gum line is formed.
In the event of bone loss, your jaw can become exceptionally weak. Your jaw can begin to change shape. If you are missing teeth, bone loss can mean that you are ineligible for implants. A bone graft uses some of your bone, or a bone substitute, and places it in the areas of weakness. As you heal, your jawbone will regain strength and can help to make implants a possibility.
If you have gum disease, treatment is required. Call National Dental Sunnyside at (718) 925-3365 to schedule your appointment today.