Treating Gum Disease

Dr. Tom Tinney, D.D.S. – Gum Disease

If you have bleeding, puffy, or agitated gums, you may be one of the adults who have gum disease. Periodontal disease can lead to receding gums, loss of teeth, chronic bad breath, and has recently been linked with heart disease. Treating gum disease can reverse the process and help both teeth and gums to become healthy again. Periodontal disease, commonly known as gum disease, afflicts about 85% of adults. This condition is not to be taken lightly; when untreated; gum disease can lead to recession of the gums, loss of teeth, and heart disease.

A periodontist is a dentist who specializes in the prevention, diagnosis and treating gum disease, and even laser dentistry. Periodontists receive extensive training in these areas, including three additional years of education beyond dental school. Periodontists are familiar with the latest techniques for treating gum disease. In addition, they can perform cosmetic periodontal procedures to help you achieve the smile you desire.

Dentist Elk Grove Can Help With Gum Disease

Most periodontists would agree that after scaling and root planing, many patients do not require any further active treatment in treating gum disease. However, the majority of patients will require ongoing maintenance therapy to sustain health. Non-surgical therapy does have its limitations, however, and when it does not achieve periodontal health, surgery may be indicated to restore periodontal anatomy damaged by periodontal diseases and to facilitate oral hygiene practices.

Limited research suggests that the use of lasers as an adjunct to scaling and root planing (SRP) may improve the effectiveness of this procedure. In addition, when the lasers are used properly during periodontal therapy there can be less bleeding, swelling and discomfort to the patient during surgery.

Don’t Hide From Gum Disease

If you’re diagnosed with gum disease, your periodontist may recommend periodontal surgery. Periodontal surgery is necessary when your periodontist determines that the tissue around your teeth is unhealthy and cannot be repaired with non-surgical treatment. Following are the four types of surgical treatments most commonly prescribed:

  • A pocket reduction procedure has been recommended because you have pockets that are too deep to clean with daily at-home oral hygiene and a professional care routine. During this procedure, your periodontist folds back the gum tissue and removes the disease-causing bacteria before securing the tissue into place. In some cases, irregular surfaces of the damaged bone are smoothed to limit areas where disease-causing bacteria can hide. This allows the gum tissue to better reattach to healthy bone.
  • Your periodontist may recommend a regenerative procedure when the bone supporting your teeth has been destroyed. These procedures can reverse some of the damage by regenerating lost bone and tissue. During this procedure, your periodontist folds back the gum tissue and removes the disease-causing bacteria. Membranes (filters), bone grafts or tissue-stimulating proteins can be used to encourage your body’s natural ability to regenerate bone and tissue.
  • During a crown lengthening procedure, excess gum and bone tissue is reshaped to expose more of the natural tooth. This can be done to one tooth, to even your gum line, or to several teeth to expose a natural, broad smile. Your dentist or periodontist may also recommend crown lengthening to make a restorative or cosmetic dental procedure possible. If your tooth is decayed, broken below the gum line, or has insufficient tooth structure for a restoration, such as a crown or bridge. Crown lengthening adjusts the gum and bone level to expose more of the tooth so it can be restored.
  • Soft tissue grafts can be used to cover roots or develop gum tissue where absent due to excessive gingival recession. During this procedure, your periodontist takes gum tissue from your palate or another donor source to cover the exposed root. This can be done for one tooth or several teeth to even your gum line and reduce sensitivity.

Habitual brushing and flossing can prevent gum disease. However, once gum disease develops, brushing and flossing alone are not enough. Treating periodontal disease requires a thorough cleaning of the teeth and gums (to avoid gum disease), followed by continual treatment of the area with a FDA approved, Elk Grove Dentist prescribed solution.

Dr. Tom Tinney, DDS (916) 236-4551 – Dentist Elk Grove

gum disease