Periodontal Disease

Keep Your Mouth and Gums Healthy

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What is Periodontal?

Periodontics is the specialization in the diagnosis and treatment of gum disease, which is the common term for periodontal disease. Periodontal treatments include root planning and scaling, gum grafting, and laser gum surgery. Another treatment often performed by a periodontist is Osseous surgery, which replaces lost gum and bone tissues.

What Causes Gum Disease?

Poor dental hygiene is the primary cause of gum disease. The area where the teeth meet the gums is particularly vulnerable to periodontal disease because it is the perfect breeding ground for bacteria. If teeth are not effectively cleaned and cared for, plaque develops and hardens into tartar. Tartar buildup makes it even more difficult to keep teeth clean, and bacteria accumulates underneath it. Periodontal health can deteriorate quickly. As the bacteria increases, it releases more toxins in the mouth, causing the gums to recede further, exposing more tooth surfaces to the bacteria. Without treatment, bacteria can eventually reach the root of the tooth. This can cause the tooth to become loose or fall out.

What should I expect in periodontal treatment?

The first thing your dentist will suggest is behavioral changes including ensuring thorough brushing, flossing, the use of specialized toothpastes and mouthwashes, as well as changes like quitting smoking or not consuming sugary drinks like soda. In-office treatments may also include tartar removal, which is also called scaling or root planning. During this process, the dentist or hygienist uses special tools to scrape the buildup away from the teeth both above and below the gum line.

Depending on the severity of the periodontal disease, surgical treatment may be necessary. Surgical treatments include bone and soft tissue grafts, flap surgery, where the gums are lifted back and the tartar removed, and guided tissue regeneration where the regrowth of gum and bone tissue is guided with mesh-like fabric to encourage stronger tissue to form. These treatments have a reputation for being painful, but your dentist will take every action to ensure you are as comfortable as possible.

Soft Tissue Management and Periodontal Disease

Soft Tissue Management (STM) is a non-surgical process to reduce the effects of periodontal disease. This process follows a series of steps to provide a deep cleaning and healing procedure to limit bacterial growth and restore gum tissue. for more information, visit our page on STM.


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