When gum (periodontal) disease starts, it is barely noticeable. As plaque and bacteria build up on your teeth, your gum tissue becomes irritated. Your immune system sends an inflammatory response, which causes your gums to swell. When you brush and floss, your gums may bleed. It’s easy to mistake these symptoms for another problem, so they go ignored. However, ignoring the problem will only allow gum disease to worsen. Swollen gums pull away from your teeth, creating pockets. Bacteria falls into these pockets and attacks your periodontal ligaments as well as your jawbone. Both are weakened, which loosens your teeth. Ultimately, your teeth can fall out. Treating gum disease will halt the progression of tooth loss, and allow your gums, and other structures, to heal. At National Dental Oakland Gardens, we can help with periodontal care.
PROFESSIONAL DENTAL CLEANINGS
It is recommended that you have professional cleanings at least twice a year as a part of your regular oral health care regimen. Cleanings are designed to remove plaque, tartar (hardened plaque), and bacteria from the surfaces of your teeth. This is done to help prevent gum disease, along with tooth decay, from occurring in the first place.
SCALING AND ROOT PLANING
If gum disease does take hold of your mouth, a scaling and root planing can be performed. This procedure is essentially a deep clean of your mouth. Scaling involves removing plaque, tartar, and bacteria buildup from the surfaces of your teeth (as well as between them and just below the gum line). Root planing is the process of smoothing the roots of your teeth, removing tartar and bacteria, making it more difficult for new bacteria to adhere. Finally, an antibacterial agent is delivered below the gums to kill any lingering bacteria. Once finished, your gums will be able to heal.
In some cases, the swelling of your gum tissue gets in the way of a proper scaling and root planing. Without a proper cleaning, your gums will not be able to heal properly. In the past, infected gum tissue was removed using a scalpel. At National Dental, we use a laser, which is a high-intensity beam of light, to remove this tissue, making it much easier for us to thoroughly clean your teeth. The laser limits bleeding during your procedure, and reduces the amount of pain and swelling that you experience afterward.
When your gums pull away from your teeth, as a result of swelling, pockets are created. As the disease progresses, and bacteria continue to attack, the pockets grow deeper. If the pockets grow too deep, it becomes impossible, even with all of our tools, to reach all of the bacteria hidden inside. A pocket reduction surgery is designed to reduce the depths of the periodontal pockets, making your teeth, and gums, easier to keep clean.
SOFT TISSUE GRAFTING
When gum disease reaches more advanced stages, your gums begin to recede. This can lead to severe tooth sensitivity, along with other issues. A gum graft can help to restore a natural gum line and the health of your mouth. The procedure uses tissue from elsewhere in your mouth. We then stitch it over the areas of recession. As you heal, your gum line is restored, and the tissue forms tightly around your teeth.
The bacteria under your gum line attacks your jawbone. As it does, the bone is weakened. It can change shape, causing your teeth to shift, or become loose. With a bone graft, we remove bone from elsewhere in your body and place it in the weakened areas. This gives your jaw an opportunity to regain its previous strength.
When you have gum disease, getting treatment as soon as possible is necessary for preventing a progression into the more serious stages. Contact National Dental Oakland Gardens at (718) 407-0574 to schedule your appointment today.