Periodontal/Gingival Disease

Periodontal/Gum Disease

Periodontal disease is an infection caused by the bacteria in dental plaque. If left untreated it can lead to bone loss, tooth mobility and in severe cases tooth loss. You may not know  you have periodontal because it generally does not cause pain, but some signs or symptoms you may have can include:

Swollen/tender gums
Gums that bleed easily
Inflamed/Red gums
A bad taste/bad breath
Pus at the gum line
Shifting teeth 
Gum recession

Scaling and Root Planing

Scaling and Root Planing is the process of removing bacteria filled plaque and tartar from tooth root surfaces down deep in periodontal pockets. This is generally the first step in the treatment of periodontal disease and is typically performed by our hygiene department using local anesthesia. Reevaluation is completed 4-6 weeks after scaling and root planing is finished. During this re-evaluation appointment, you will meet with one of our specialized dental hygienists to evaluate and review the results that have been achieved. Scaling and root planing may be the only treatment that is needed to stabilize periodontal disease, however, surgical follow-up may be indicated to achieve ideal and maintainable results. If the desired results are achieved with scaling and root planing alone, then maintenance therapy is started. Periodontal maintenance, along with ideal oral hygiene, is one of the foundational keys to successful periodontal treatment. Once you are diagnosed with periodontal disease, you will always be susceptible to its recurrence. Periodontal maintenance is the continuing care portion of treatment for periodontal disease. Adherence to the recommended interval for periodontal maintenance is critical to lifelong whole body and dental health.

Surgical Therapies

There are many surgical options to treat periodontal disease when non-surgical therapy is not sufficient to control the disease. We customize our surgical treatment recommendations based on your specific needs. Periodontal surgery (pocket reduction surgery, osseous surgery) involves reshaping of the underlying bone and gum in order to reduce the persistent infection inherent in deep periodontal pockets. When the “pockets” are reduced to an ideal level, the bacteria that cause periodontal disease cannot thrive and stability is achieved. Re-evaluation of surgical periodontal treatment is completed 8 weeks after treatment and followed up with routine periodontal maintenance. Bone grafting therapy is often used during periodontal surgery to help regenerate bone structure that has been lost due the periodontal disease process. Only certain types/shapes of “holes” in the bone can be treated with bone grafting.

Gummy Smile and Gum Recession

If your gum line is uneven or you feel that you show too much or too little gum, then you may be a candidate for periodontal plastic surgery. Periodontal plastic surgery treatments can go a long way to improving the look of your smile and confidence.