Gum disease is a serious, but preventable infection that can damage your gums and destroy your jawbone. Also known as periodontal disease, gum disease can even lead to tooth loss or other health issues. Fortunately, treatment from qualified dental professionals can help resolve periodontal disease and save your smile.
Millions of bacteria live inside your mouth. While most of these bacteria are harmless or even beneficial, some bacteria can cause infection.
The bacteria feed on the sugars in your food. As they consume sugar, the bacteria produce an acid that is strong enough to eat through the tough tooth enamel that protects your teeth. In time, the acid can cause tooth decay, also known as cavities.
This acid combines with your saliva to create plaque, which is a clear substance that sticks to the surface of your teeth and gums. Bacteria-rich plaque can build up on your teeth and gums. Plaque is relatively easy to remove at home with brushing and flossing, but plaque begins to accumulate again almost immediately after you brush and floss.
Left in place, the plaque can harden into tartar, aka calculus, which is difficult to remove. In fact, only periodontal treatment can remove the stubborn tartar that causes periodontal disease.
The bacteria in plaque and tartar can infect your gums to cause a gum infection. Your gum tissue responds to the infection by swelling up (inflammation). Your gums also turn red, become sensitive, and may even bleed when you brush and floss. Dentists refer to this stage as gingivitis.
Inflammation and presence of tartar causes the gum tissue to pull away from the surface of your tooth, which creates a pocket in the gum that can extend all the way down to the root of the tooth. Side note: the gums and bones like their personal space to be respected. Plaque, tartar and bacteria fill the pocket to allow the infection to reach the tooth roots and even get to the jawbone that holds your teeth in place. In time, the gums can separate from the teeth and eventually recede to expose the tooth roots in what’s known as a receding gum line.
Without periodontal treatment, the infection can destroy the tooth roots and bones to cause tooth loss. The infection can even spread to the rest of your body. Dentists refer to this stage of a gum infection as periodontitis.
Periodontal treatment from Cusp Dental Boutique is the best way to treat advanced gum disease. Periodontists are dentists who receive 3 years of special training in the diagnosis and treatment of gum disease. These dental professionals can perform surgical and non-surgical procedures to treat periodontitis. Periodontists can also replace missing teeth with dental implants, which are non-removeable tooth replacements that look, feel and function like your natural teeth.
While periodontists usually recommend starting with non-surgical treatments, surgical treatments are sometimes the only option for treating periodontal disease and the damage it has caused.
Gum graft surgery covers exposed roots, and helps prevent more gum recession and bone loss. It can also help reduce tooth sensitivity and improve the cosmetic appeal of your smile. Side note: granted there isn’t a frenum pull at that site.
The procedure involves taking healthy gum tissue from another area in your mouth or from a donor to cover the exposed root.
Regenerative procedures can help reverse some of the damage caused by gum disease, such as lost bone and gum tissue. Periodontists usually recommend regenerative procedures when gum disease has destroyed the bone supporting your teeth.
To perform this procedure, your dentist folds back the affected gum tissue and removes the bacteria causing the infection. Your dentist may use filters, tissue-stimulating proteins, or bone grafts to trigger your body’s natural regenerative abilities.
Dentists perform periodontal pocket procedures to close the pockets in your gums and save your teeth. To perform the procedure, your dentist folds back the gum tissue, removes the bacteria, and reattaches the gums. In some cases, your dentist smooths irregular surfaces of your teeth below the gum line to help the gum tissue reattach.
Scaling and root planing provide a deep cleaning of the tooth root surfaces. Scaling removes plaque and tartar from below your gum line, while root planing smooths out and cleans the roots to help the gums reattach to the teeth.
Laser bacterial reduction is a state-of-the-art approach to gum treatment in Virginia Beach. The laser treatment uses the power of light to destroy the bacteria that cause gingivitis and periodontitis.
If you have symptoms of gum disease, or you have been told that you have gingivitis or periodontitis, consult with your Virginia Beach dentist and hygienist at Cusp Dental Boutique. We perform hygiene services to help prevent and treat gingivitis, and we perform gum treatment to help you save your teeth.