Periodontics is the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of periodontal disease. Periodontal disease is a chronic inflammatory disease that affects the gums and bone supporting the teeth. Periodontal disease is largely due to accumulation of plaque on the teeth. Plaque is mainly composed of bacteria, which produce toxins that irritate the surrounding periodontal tissues and lead to inflammation and damage to the periodontal ligament and bones. There are two forms of periodontal disease: gingivitis and periodontitis.
- Gingivitis is an early stage of periodontal disease where the gums are red, swollen, and bleed easily. It can usually be reversed with proper treatment.
- Periodontitis is a more advanced form of periodontal disease where pockets between the teeth and gums become deeper as the ligaments break down, resulting in bone loss around affected teeth. Symptoms can include receding gums, bad breath, loose teeth, and pain while chewing. Periodontitis has no cure and must be carefully managed to prevent it from getting worse. In its most advanced stages, periodontitis can actually lead to tooth loss.
In order to prevent or manage periodontal disease, SmileMcLean Dentistry offers the following periodontal treatments:
A gingivectomy is a surgical procedure to remove excess tissue from the gums. It is often performed to improve the appearance of the gums, but it can also be helpful in managing periodontal disease by removing gum pockets that collect bacteria.
Arestin is a prescription antibiotic that may be used to treat gum disease. Dr. Farahi often uses it in coordination with scaling and root planing procedures. After a scaling and root planing procedure, Arestin is locally applied to the site of gum infection to continue to fight bacteria left behind.
Gum Contouring and Reshaping
Gum contouring and reshaping involves cutting away excess gum tissue or restoring lost gum tissue in order to resculpt the gum line. This procedure reduces gingival hyperplasia (flabby gums), closes deep pockets with excess gum tissue, and improves the appearance of teeth. Although it is often done for cosmetic purposes, gum contouring can be medically necessary to treat periodontal disease.
Laser periodontal therapy uses laser technology to target bacteria and infected gum tissue, while preserving healthy gum tissue. This allows Dr. Farahi to remove the infection without any cutting, sutures, or bleeding. The laser is then used to form a fibrin clot between the tooth and gum in order to stimulate the body’s natural healing process.
Periodontal cleaning is a routine dental procedure that removes plaque and tartar (hardened plaque) from teeth and below the gum line. It is performed by Dr. Farahi or a dental hygienist.
Scaling and Root Planing
Scaling and root planing is a deep cleaning procedure that involves scraping off the plaque and tartar from the teeth below the gum line and then smoothing out the roots of the teeth to help prevent plaque from building up in the future.
A periodontal splint is a custom-made device that is used to stabilize teeth that are loose due to periodontal disease. It works by attaching weak teeth together with dental composite to create a single, stable unit. Periodontal splints are often used on the front teeth.
If you are experiencing any symptoms of periodontal disease, please contact Dr. Farahi at SmileMcLean Dentistry for an evaluation.