What is periodontics?
Periodontics is a dental specialty which revolves around the management of periodontal disease, or gum disease. A periodontist, like our own Dr. Gonzalez, is a dentist who specializes in the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of periodontal disease, and in the placement of dental implants. Periodontists are also experts in the treatment of oral inflammation.
Periodontists receive extensive training in these areas, including three additional years of education beyond dental school. They are familiar with the latest techniques for diagnosing and treating periodontal disease, and are also trained in performing cosmetic periodontal procedures.
How do you treat periodontitis?
Periodontitis is treated in a number of ways. One method, called root planing, involved cleaning and scraping below the gum line to smooth the roots. If effective, this procedure helps the gums reattach themselves to the tooth structure. However, not all instances of scaling and root planing successfully reattach the tooth to the gums. Additional measures may be needed if the periodontal pockets persist after scaling and root planing.
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.
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.
Chances are you have a solid routine when it comes to oral hygiene. Brush, maybe floss, gargle, repeat. And you should continue to do all of those things.You may even schedule regular, six-month dental cleanings. That’s great. Keep it up. But for over half of American adults, that’s still not enough to ward off bad breath, gum disease or even overall health issues. That’s because your toothbrush is a tool, as in just one tool, that can only do so much. When it comes to penetrating below the gum line, where open wounds and gum disease are known to thrive, you need more.
The Perio Tray® by Perio Protect gently applies medication deep under the gums to fight the infections and prevent their recurrence. You use it at home for just minutes each day. The Tray is comfortable, flexible, and custom-fit precisely for your mouth. It is important to treat active infections. Almost half of American adults have chronic periodontitis, an advanced form of gum disease that taxes the immune system and may make it harder for your body to fight off other infectious challenges. Infections in your gums may also contribute to other chronic health problems like arterial inflammation.
Perio Tray® Therapy
Not only does Perio Tray® therapy help improve your health, it can also help you smile with more confidence.
Patients using Perio Trays® report whiter teeth and fresher breath.
Chronic bad breath often signals chronic gum disease. Address the disease and freshen your breath.
If you've been told that you have gum disease (gingivitis or periodontitis), ask our team if Perio Trays® are right for you.
Custom trays, molded specifically to your mouth, are build with a patented seal that gently delivers bacteria-fighting hydrogen peroxide deep below your gums where a toothbrush simply can't reach.
It's the difference between a Band-Aid and a tourniquet. The Best part is you're in control, and it can be done in the comfort of your home.
The benefits are remarkable...
By treating gum disease in this non-invasive way, you can clear up infections that cause bleeding of the gums.
This is important because bleeding gums can become a conduit for pathogens to enter your bloodstream and lead to larger issues, like heart disease, diabetes and colorectal cancer.
Further, this treatment also brightens teeth and freshens your breath.
If the tissue or bone surrounding your teeth is too damaged to be repaired with non-surgical treatment, several surgical procedures 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
In a healthy mouth, the teeth are firmly surrounded by gum tissue and securely supported by the bones of the jaw. Periodontal disease damages these tissues and bones, leaving open spaces around the teeth that we call pockets. The larger these pockets are, the easier it is for bacteria to collect inside them, leading to more and more damage over time. Eventually the supportive structure degrades to the point that the tooth either falls out or needs to be removed.
During pocket reduction procedures (also known as “flap surgery”), we fold back the gum tissue and remove the bacteria hiding underneath, as well as the hardened plaque and tartar that have collected. We may also remove any tissue that is too damaged to survive. We then sew the healthy tissue back into place. Now that the tooth and root are free of bacteria, plaque, and tartar, and the pockets have been reduced, the gums can reattach to the teeth.
When the bone and tissue supporting the teeth have been lost due to severe gum disease, we can restore these areas with a regeneration procedure. During this process, we begin by folding back the gum tissue and removing the bacteria, plaque and tartar. Depending on your situation, we may then perform a bone graft to stimulate new bone growth, or we may apply a special kind of protein that stimulates tissue growth to repair the areas that have been destroyed by the disease.
A frequent symptom of gum disease is gum recession (also called gingival recession). As the gums recede, more of the roots are revealed. This can make teeth appear longer and can also create sensitivity to hot or cold liquids or food. It also exposes the tooth to increased damage from gum disease, as bacteria, plaque, and tartar attack the surface of the tooth and the root.
During a soft-tissue graft, tissue from the top of your mouth or another source is sewed to the gum area, covering the roots and restoring the gum line to its original, healthy location. This procedure can also be performed for cosmetic reasons.