Periodontal Care Philadelphia
Gums are soft tissues that cover the supporting bone and act as a seal preventing food particles from affecting root of the teeth. As a defensive system, gums play an important role in protecting teeth and maintaining oral health. When there is breach caused to this defensive system, the teeth and the supporting bone are at higher risk of dental infection. Periodontal care or gingival care is offered to protect the soft gum tissues from bacterial invasion and damage. At our Dentistry for Life in Philadelphia, PA office we perform basic periodontal treatment procedures to clear tarter from under the gum-line and treat the infected tissues. This helps us prevent gum diseases and improve the periodontal health of the patient. If you or any of your family members are suffering from bleeding gums, swollen gums or bad odor in the mouth, make an appointment and meet our dentist in Philadelphia, PA. Our comprehensive dental care can help you improve your oral health.
What is gum disease?
Gum tissues form a thin layer that covers supporting bone and the base of the crowns of natural teeth. Periodontics involves the study of problems related to gums and the supporting structure of teeth. Plaque is a biofilm of bacteria which forms over teeth surface. When plaque remains on teeth for long, it hardens to become tartar. Hardened layer of bacteria cannot be removed through routine oral hygiene practices. When tarter collects around the base of the teeth crown, the bacteria come in contact with gum tissues and cause gum irritation. This is the beginning stages of the gingival disease. Softening of gums and bleeding are some of the symptoms. If proper treatment is not available in time, the disease worsens and the bacteria make their way towards the root of teeth.
Different stages of gingival disease
The first stage of gum disease is called gingivitis. In this stage, the gums are irritated by bacteria which soften them, causing them to bleed when brushing teeth. Swelling may also be noted in some cases. If proper treatment is offered in time, the gums can be protected and the infection cured.
When gingivitis is not identified or treated in its initial stages, the bacteria go on to break the seal between gum tissues and teeth surface. This stage of the disease is termed as periodontitis. Gum pockets are formed where food particles get collected. Bacteria feed on food particles to deepen the pockets further and infect more gum tissues. The disease can spread to the root of teeth and the supporting bone.
There are a few dental procedures to treat infected gums. Patients should note that gingival treatment is not a one-time solution. The activity of bacteria can only be controlled and not stopped. Follow-up visits will be required to ensure that the infection does not reoccur and the bacterial activity is suppressed.
Firstly our dentist uses a periodontal probe to check the depth of gum pockets. Bleeding of gums, swelling, and bad odor can indicate gum disease. Periodontal treatment involves curing gum infection and clearing tarter from teeth surface. Scaling and root planning is one of the commonly followed procedures. Local anesthesia is used to numb the gums. Tarter is cleared from the surface of teeth using scaling instrument. Root planning involves clearing the root of teeth. On completion of the procedure, an anti-bacterial agent may be used to clear bacteria from the gum pockets.
Scaling is one of the most important processes in periodontal care which helps in curing gum diseases. The procedure involves removal of tarter from the tooth surface and roots. Periodontists use special instruments to clean the surface of the teeth. The instruments clean the gum pockets and reach the teeth roots to remove hardened tarter. Local anaesthesia may be used during the process to relieve patients from pain. The periodontist guides patients about routine maintenance and they may have to visit the dental practice frequently in order to keep the periodontal disease in control.
Periodontal surgery is performed to improve the life of gum tissues and teeth and to control the factors that give rise to periodontal infection. The surgery involves bringing back the contact between gum tissues and teeth surface. Gum pockets are eliminated during the procedure. Certain medical conditions like uncontrolled diabetes and cardiovascular disease may not be suitable for performing the periodontal surgery. Alcohol consumption should be avoided after the surgery is complete.
An attractive smile exposes minimal gum tissues. In a gummy smile more amount of gum is visible which makes the smile less attractive. This problem can be treated in many ways. A periodontist chooses a particular process based on the complexity of the condition. Laser treatment is one of the commonly performed procedures. However, in more complex cases a surgical contouring or lip repositioning may be necessary. The treatment for gummy smile can also be called crown lengthening. A periodontist or a dentist who has specialized experience in curing gum problems can treat a gummy smile.
Dental implant surgery is one of the procedures performed by a periodontist. The process involves restoration of a lost tooth using Titanium or Zirconium implant which replaces the lost tooth root. The surgical process involves making an incision in the gum tissues and creating a bony recess in the bone where the implant is inserted. The gum tissues are sutured after the placement of the implant and it is left to heal for a period of few months. The dental crowns are fabricated in the lab and they are fixed over the implant using an abutment. Today there are same day implants available which do not require time to heal and the crown is ready to take the load on same day.
Gum grafting is the process of surgically reconstructing the gum tissues which have receded from gum infection. Gum recession occurs because of plaque accumulation over teeth surface which gradually hardens and turns into tarter. As a result of gum infection the soft tissues are detached from the teeth and further plaque accumulation results in formation of gum pockets. Gum grafting is done to reconstruct the soft tissues so as to cover the teeth root. Soft tissues are removed from the palate region of the mouth and are used in reconstruction. Gum grafting has both esthetic and medical advantages. Patients can get a more attractive smile from the process and the teeth become less prone to decay.