Gum disease, also known as periodontal disease, begins small (almost unnoticeable), but can quickly progress into a serious issue that can have dire consequences on your oral health. Throughout the course of the day, plaque and bacteria build up in your mouth. When your oral health is neglected, or you simply miss hard to reach areas of your mouth, plaque and bacteria can irritate your gum tissue, causing it to pull away from your teeth. Bacteria then fall into the spaces created and attack your jawbone and periodontal ligaments. Both become weak, and your teeth become loose. At National Dental Melville, we provide periodontal care to halt the progression of gum disease and restore the health of your mouth.
Professional dental cleanings are recommended at least twice a year to help prevent serious oral health issues like tooth decay and gum disease. During dental cleanings, the surfaces of your teeth are scraped clean of plaque, tartar, and bacterial buildup. We also make sure to get between your teeth as well as at the gum line. Your teeth are polished and flossed during this cleaning as well.
Scaling and Root Planing
If gum disease does take hold of your mouth, a scaling and root planing may be needed. Scaling and root planing is a minimally invasive procedure that is essentially a deep cleaning of your teeth. Not only are the surfaces of your teeth scraped clean, but the roots of your teeth are also smoothed, making it much more difficult for oral bacteria to adhere. An antimicrobial agent is also applied below the gum line to help kill off any lingering bacteria. This procedure relieves the irritation on your gums and gives them a much-needed opportunity to begin to heal.
When your gums are infected, they swell. In some cases, the swelling is so much that it becomes difficult to perform a thorough scaling and root planing. If this is the case, we will need to remove the infected gum tissue. In the past, this was done with a metal scalpel. At National Dental, we use laser dentistry. A small high-intensity laser beam, no thicker than a human hair, is used to remove the damaged tissue. The laser cauterizes your blood vessels as it cuts, minimizing bleeding. It also provides pinpoint accuracy that helps us to reduce the amount of tissue trauma experienced.This can greatly reduce the amount of post-procedure pain and swelling.
Pocket Reduction Surgery
When your gums are inflamed, they pull away from your teeth, creating pockets. Bacteria, and other debris fall into these pockets, where they continue to attack your soft tissue as well as your jawbone and periodontal ligaments. Sometimes, the pockets can become so deep that cleaning them out effectively with the tools we have is impossible. To clean your teeth and give your gums a chance to heal, a pocket reduction surgery may be needed. With this procedure, we make incisions in your gums and expose the roots of your teeth. We then clean your teeth and stitch the tissue back up tightly around them.
Soft Tissue Grafting
Gum disease can have serious consequences for your gums as well as your jawbone. The disease can cause your gums to recede, making your teeth appear longer than normal, and exposing the roots (which can then lead to sensitivity). The soft tissue (gum) graft is a surgical procedure that uses your oral tissue (usually from the roof of your mouth) to restore a more natural gum line.
No matter what stage of gum disease you have, periodontal care can help. Call National Dental Melville today at (631) 816-2277 to schedule your consultation.