Periodontitis, which is more commonly known as gum disease, is an oral health condition that affects nearly half of all adults to some extent. The condition is marked by inflamed and swollen gum tissue, and it can lead to more serious problems if left untreated. Periodontitis occurs when the gums become irritated due to long-term exposure to tartar, bacteria and plaque. The first sign of the condition is swollen and irritated gum tissue that may begin to bleed during brushing or flossing. Patients are strongly encouraged to seek out treatment for periodontitis during this time, as the condition will only become progressively worse from there.
Eventually, the gums will start to retract and pull away from the teeth. This creates empty spaces known as periodontal pockets. These pockets can become infected with further bacteria and plaque, which will allow the condition to spread throughout the rest of the mouth more easily. These accumulations can steadily make their way deep down to the jawbone and the connective tissues of teeth. If this occurs, it is very likely that the jawbone will begin to deteriorate, and tooth loss may follow shortly thereafter.
At Envision a Smile, we offer a complete lineup of periodontal services that are designed to treat gum disease at all stages. Our experts will work to remove the harmful bacteria and plaque from the gums so that proper healing and recovery can occur. We will also work to reverse any damage that has occurred so that the gums appear and function normally. The earlier that the patient seeks out treatment, the easier the road to recovery will be.
We offer the following periodontal services and treatments:
- Scaling and Root Planing: Scaling and root planing is one of the most time-tested and proven treatments for periodontitis. The process involves using specialized dental tools to reach deep below an individual’s gum line so that any unwanted tartar and plaque can be removed. Then, we smooth out the root surfaces to prevent future buildups.
- Gum Graft Surgery: A common side-effect of periodontitis is a receding gum line. This is caused by the gums pulling away from the teeth, thereby exposing the tooth roots. Not only is this unattractive, it also puts a person at risk for infections. A gum graft surgery will harvest oral tissue from other areas of the mouth to cover up the exposed roots.
- Dental Crown Lengthening: When the gum tissue becomes inflamed and swollen, it can cause an unsightly “gummy” smile. To correct this, a procedure known as dental crown lengthening may be used. This minor surgical procedure involves cutting away and reshaping any excess gum tissue to restore the appearance of the gums.
- Gingivectomy: A gingivectomy is provided for more serious cases of periodontitis that cannot be properly treated with scaling and root planing. This is a surgical procedure that involves removing and reshaping any loose or diseased gum tissue in order to eliminate any periodontal pockets. After a gingivectomy, the gums should heal normally.
- Root Surface Debridement: A root surface debridement procedure is a deep cleaning of the root surfaces that are present deep below the teeth. Any unwanted buildups of tartar, bacteria and plaque will be removed during this non-surgical procedure. Once the procedure is over, the gum disease should stop spreading, and recovery will follow.
- Laser Treatment: Periodontal laser treatments make use of a specialized dental laser to access and remove swollen gum tissue from around a tooth’s root. The laser can then be used to eliminate any unwanted buildups, and it can smooth out any rough spots. Laser treatment is often ideal since it reduces both recovery periods and patient discomfort.
- Pocket Reduction: Reducing the size of the periodontal pockets is one of the most important goals during gum disease treatment. A pocket reduction procedure does this by using an antimicrobial liquid to encourage fast healing. Following treatment, the pockets should begin to shrink in size, and future buildups will be prevented.
- Osseous Surgery: An osseous surgery is a specialized surgical procedure that works to reduce the size of the patient’s periodontal pockets. The procedure involves cutting into the gum tissue and flapping it upward so that any unwanted tartar and plaque can be removed from the roots. The periodontal pockets should then begin to shrink in size.
- Ridge Augmentation: If tooth loss occurs from periodontitis, a ridge augmentation procedure may be provided to encourage proper healing. During this procedure, bone grafts will be applied to the alveolar ridge bone so that it can recover. This will promote bone growth and strengthen the jawbone so that a dental implant can be installed later.
- Ridge Preservation: After tooth loss occurs, it is very important to replace it right away. But if this cannot be done, ridge preservation may be used. This technique involves applying bone grafts to the empty spaces created by the missing tooth to slow down the deterioration of the jawbone. This will make it easier to eventually install an implant.
- Pinhole Gum Rejuvenation: A pinhole gum rejuvenation procedure allows our experts to treat a receding gum line without having to make any incisions. This is accomplished by making a series of very small holes in the gums and then using specialized tools to massage the tissue back into place. This procedure is known for its fast recovery period.
- Sinus Lift: When installing implants for the upper teeth, the sinuses may get in the way. This is often the case when the jawbone has deteriorated over time. A sinus lift involves accessing the sinus membrane and pushing it upward so that the sinuses are moved out of the way. After the healing process is complete, dental implants can be installed.
- Bone Grafting: The purpose of a bone grafting procedure is to promote new bone growth. By applying artificial bone material and special proteins to a deteriorated jawbone, we can restore the structure and provide it with strength. The jawbone will then be able to provide better support for the teeth and any dental implants.
Gum disease is a very serious oral health issue, and it is best treated as early as possible. If you are showing signs or symptoms of periodontitis, we strongly encourage you to visit our Envision a Smile for professional treatment. Our team will work to restore the health of your gums at any stage of periodontitis. Please call us at 630-454-8166 to schedule an appointment.