Periodontics is the specialty area of dentistry that involves the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of issues with the gums and other tissues that support and envelop the teeth. Proper dental hygiene can reduce the risk of plaque buildup, sore or bleeding gums, inflamed periodontium. Poor hygiene, however, is not always the cause. These symptoms can also be triggered by disease. Sometimes there is no known cause of the symptoms.
Gum disease has been found to increase the risk of cardiovascular disorders, premature babies with low birth weight, stroke, and diabetes. In major cases of gum disease, portions of the jaw bone may deteriorate. There are both surgical and nonsurgical procedures that can stop the spread of gum disease. For people who have lost bone mass in the jaw structure, surgery can replace the lost mass. New technology has led to the use of the periscope, which allows periodontists to see the actual dental roots beneath the surface of the gums. Now, because of this new technology, periodontists are able to clean tooth roots without surgery. This reduces pain for the patient as well as recovery time.
Although there are many symptoms that are quickly and easily identifiable as gum disease, there are cases where there are no visible symptoms until it is too late, and the teeth are deteriorating or being lost. This is the main reason for a biannual dental exam, complete with gum examinations.
If gum disease is found in its early stages, periodontists can remove any plaque above and below the gum line. The process of removing the plaque buildup is known as scaling. However, if the disease has gotten to the point where the roots of the teeth are exposed, root planing may be called for. It’s similar to scaling, but since roots are particularly sensitive, local anesthesia is required. Sometimes, periodontists will prescribe antibiotics to stop the spread of an infection.
Left untreated, gum disease can weaken or even destroy the bones that support your teeth. Periodontists can do what is known as a flap procedure. This will not only clean the tooth roots, but will also repair and, if needed, reshape the bone. If the bone damage is extensive, it is possible to graft new bone to replace what has been destroyed. If the case of gum disease is bad enough, teeth may need to be pulled, or extracted. To fix the holes left in the gums, it is possible for periodontists to relocate and transplant teeth into the sockets and fix them in place. It is also possible for periodontists to sculpt the gum line, if the patient’s teeth appear too short, of if too much gum shows in a patient’s smile.
The periodontist professionals of Marina Dentistry will carefully review the health of the patient and have a consultation before making any recommendations. Marina Dentistry accepts most forms of insurance, and there are many different payment options available. All communications and information will be maintained in accordance with HIPPA privacy laws.