It is not a given that we lose our teeth as we get older. If we maintain good oral health and regular cleanings and exams it is possible to keep our teeth natural for life. This not only includes keeping the teeth healthy but the gums, bone and other supporting structures as well. Gum disease is caused by the accumulation of bacteria and our body’s response to this “infection”. Our dental team is always looking for the early signs of this condition that a patient may or may not even notice. When signs of gingivitis or periodontal disease do occur, we may make a recommendation for periodontal therapy to maintain the health of your smile.
Periodontal therapy can come in many forms. From a simple cleaning or prophylaxis to scaling and root planing, our goal is to eliminate the cause of gum disease. The removal of plaque and calculus is essential for keeping our teeth and smile healthy. Treatments can be both non surgical or surgical, including:
Prophylaxis – Routine cleaning that involves the removal of plaque, calculus, and stain from tooth structure. It is intended to control local irritational factors to prevent gingivitis.
Scaling and Root Planing – Deep cleaning that is intended for the removal of plaque, calculus, and tartar from the tooth above and below the gum line to prevent to spread of gum disease, bone loss and possible tooth loss.
Crown Lengthening Surgery – This surgical procedure is used to expose part of the tooth that is covered either by gum or bone, to make teeth longer for the placement of a new crown or for cosmetic reasons. This is often used to aid in the treatment of a “gummy smile”.
Gum Grafting – The addition of gum tissue used in the treatment of recession and root exposure This is can also be used in the treatment of tooth sensitivity.
Laser Therapy – Through the use of a dental laser, there are many situations that now do not require traditional surgery. Gums can be reshaped and contoured, persistently deep pockets around teeth can be cleaned and resolved, even allowing for new bone to grow around these teeth.
Dental Implants – Dental implants are today’s preferred method of tooth replacement. The implant is a root replacement with a realistic looking dental crown that is used to replace the visible tooth structure.
Home Smile Care
The removal of plaque and calculus is essential for good oral health. At home this can be accomplished at a minimum by brushing, flossing, and using appropriate mouth rinses. The way that you brush and floss is of extreme importance. Improper techniques can cause recession and excessive wear of the teeth. Make sure to ask our dental team to demonstrate proper techniques. However, there can always be areas of our mouths that are both difficult to reach and difficult to properly clean. This is why it is so important to have regular cleanings and exams to help maintain overall oral health.