We offer a wide variety of periodontal surgical procedures such as gum grafts to fix areas of recession and/or defects, bone grafting, scaling and root planing, and periodontal maintenance. With each procedure varying greatly from patient to patient, it is difficult to cover each section on a website. If you have any concerns about the health of your bone or gums, we would be more than happy to evaluate your particular needs at our office and give you a customized treatment plan to accommodate your goals and give you a healthy smile.
Protecting the Health of Your Bone and Gums
Stages of Gingivitis (gum disease) and Periodontitis (bone disease)
Gingivitis (Gum Disease- Stage 1)
Gingivitis is the first stage of Periodontal disease. Plaque, a sticky substance filled with bacteria, settles along the gum line of the teeth and causes the gums to swell, become red in appearance and bleed. Gingivitis is reversible and can be resolved with the combination of a professional dental cleaning and meticulous home care. Key signs of gingivitis are gums that are red and bleed easily when touched or brushed.
Periodontitis (Bone Disease - Stages 2 & 3)
If the plaque is not removed, bacteria will settle around the roots of the teeth and start to destroy the supporting bone (Pictured in Stage 2). The bone loss is not reversible. The gums will become infected and pull away from the teeth, forming pockets. As the pockets become deeper and the infection progresses, more bacteria will accumulate and further bone loss will occur. The gums will shrink away and the teeth will start to become loose and may shift. Many people suffer from bad breath at this stage.
When periodontal disease has reached its advanced stage, painful abscesses can form in the gum. There is very little bone support left and the teeth are loose. In most cases, teeth that have reached this stage require extraction. Periodontal disease is an infection of the bone and gum tissues that support your teeth. It is a major cause of tooth loss in adults. Because gum disease is usually painless, you may not know you have it. At each regular checkup, the dentist will measure the depth of the shallow v-shaped crevice (called a sulcus) between your tooth and gums to assess your gum health and determine if you have periodontal disease.
Treatment: Deep Cleanings (Scaling and Root Planing)
The initial phase in the treatment of periodontal disease is scaling and root planing, commonly referred to as a “deep cleaning.” The objective is removal of the bacteria that has accumulated beneath the gums on the root surfaces. Deep cleanings cannot restore the lost bone and tissue but can prevent the disease process from advancing and help to prevent tooth loss.
Scaling involves removal of the bacteria and other debris from the crown and root surfaces of the teeth. Root planing involves smoothing the root surfaces of the teeth, in areas where they have become rough due to tartar. Depending on the severity of the disease process, some individuals require local anesthetic (numbing) for the scaling and root planing appointment. Once the teeth have been thoroughly cleaned, the disease process is slowed; however, proper home care is a vital component of successful treatment. Sometimes the periodontal disease has progressed to a point where surgical measures are required to adequately remove all debris and contour the damaged bone and tissues. At your initial cleaning appointment, we will assess your gum and bone health, and determine a treatment plan that is custom to your needs.