Daily brushing and flossing are essential parts of taking care of your mouth. However, even if you precisely follow the ADA guidelines, you may still be faced with gum disease. Untreated gum disease only gets worse as time goes on, and can have some rather devastating effects on your oral, and overall, health. At National Dental East Meadow, we provide you with periodontal care services, all aimed at helping you to keep your gums, and your mouth, at their healthiest.
THE PROGRESSION OF GUM DISEASE
Gum disease starts out almost silently. Plaque and bacteria build up in your mouth and irritate your sensitive gum tissue. This irritation sends a message to your immune system, which sends back an inflammatory response. Your gums become red and swollen. They may even bleed when you brush or floss. Bacteria fall below your swollen gums and begin attacking from the inside. Your gums recede, your teeth become loose, and you may even experience tooth loss. Bacteria can even enter your bloodstream, promoting health issues like heart disease and diabetes. Periodontal care is essential for stopping gum disease in its tracks
Regular dental cleanings, twice yearly, help to prevent gum disease from occurring. During cleanings, any plaque, tartar (hardened plaque) and bacteria are scraped from the surfaces of your teeth. Along with regular brushing and flossing, this helps to limit the amount of buildup on your teeth, and keep your gums safe from attack.
SCALING AND ROOT PLANING
When gum disease does take hold of your mouth, getting treatment right away is important. Once bacteria start falling below the gum line, only professional treatment can get rid of them. Earlier stages of gum disease can often be treated with scaling and root planing. This procedure involves scraping the surfaces of your teeth and smoothing their roots. In doing so, the surfaces are made smooth, which prevents new bacteria from collecting on your teeth, giving your gums the opportunity they need to heal.
Sometimes gums can be so inflamed that it makes access difficult for scaling and root planing. We need better access to provide you with a thorough cleaning. Laser treatment allows us to do just that. A high-intensity laser beam, no thicker than a human hair, is used to cut away infected gum tissue. The laser causes much less pain, swelling and bleeding than its traditional counterpart, the metal scalpel.
POCKET REDUCTION SURGERY
As gum disease progresses, the inflammation in your gums causes the tissue to pull away from your teeth, creating pockets. Bacteria fall inside these pockets. As they continue to attack, more inflammation occurs, and the pockets grow again. When periodontal pockets are too deep, even professional tools cannot properly access them. Periodontal surgery involves making incisions in the gum tissue to get access to the roots of your teeth for a thorough cleaning. Once finished, the gums are stitched back around your teeth, and they can begin to heal.
Advanced stages of gum disease can leave you with receding gums and a weakening jawbone. Both of these have both functional impacts, as well as aesthetic impacts. At National Dental, we can help to restore the health and appearance of your gums and your jawbone with grafting. A soft tissue graft utilizes tissue (often from inside your mouth) to restore a normal gum line, while a bone graft utilizes bone material to fill in the gaps created by bone resorption. The results are a much healthier mouth, a beautiful smile, and a younger looking appearance.
Periodontal care allows your oral, and your overall, health to remain in tiptop shape. Contact National Dental East Meadow today at (516) 962-2292 to schedule your consultation.