Periodontal Care & Gum Recession Treatment
Periodontal disease is better known as gum disease. When plaque and tartar are allowed to build up both above and below the gum line, periodontal disease can set in. The bacteria in the plaque and tartar cause inflammation of the gums and loss of bone from around the teeth. If the plaque and tartar are not removed you may eventually lose your teeth.
What starts as “gingivitis” or mild swelling of the gums can quickly progress to periodontal disease without proper professional and home care.
Symptoms of Periodontitis Or Gum Disease
A very high percentage of people suffer from gum disease. One in four people have had periodontal problems at some time in their life. The following are some symptoms:
- Gums are swollen and puffy looking
- Gums bleed when brushing
- Gums have an “achy” feeling
- Teeth are loose or seem to be looking taller (longer)
Periodontal Concerns, Procedures & Care
Periodontal concerns can extend beyond gum disease to include gum recession and bruxism (teeth grinding). The following is a list of periodontal care options we offer:
Scaling & Root Planing
One of the earliest signs of gum disease is deep pockets forming around the tooth. Scaling and root planing is one of the gum surgery alternatives available at our practice and works to eradicate plaque and tartar buildup causing the pockets, and smooths out the surface of the teeth. This allows the gum tissue to properly reattach to the tooth structure.
Also known as flap surgery, this gum disease treatment works to decrease pocket depth and makes it easier to keep the teeth clean. The gum tissue is lifted away to provide direct access to the tooth and the surface is cleaned and smoothed. Next, the bone surrounding the affected tooth is smoothed to ensure proper healing. Stitches are then placed to hold the gum tissue in position as it heals. Osseous surgery is usually performed after scaling and root planing has been attempted.
Receding gums or gingival recession happens when the gums retract from the tooth, leaving a portion of the tooth root exposed. This condition can cause increased tooth sensitivity, and increase the risk of decay, infection and tooth loss. This is due to the absence of the protective layer of gum tissue overtop of the tooth root. It is best to treat receding gums soon rather than later, as the condition will only worsen over time without the proper intervention.
Bruxism Or Teeth Grinding
Bruxism, also known as tooth grinding, is the condition of forcefully sliding the chewing surfaces of the bottom teeth over the chewing surfaces of the top teeth, generally in a sideways, back-and-forth movement. Bruxism is often accompanied by clenching which is tightly clamping the top and bottom teeth together. People who grind and clench their teeth are referred to as bruxers and they unintentionally bite down very forcefully subconsciously.
Symptoms of bruxism include:
- Pain or discomfort around the ears when yawning or chewing
- Jaw muscles that are tight or painful, especially in the morning.
- Dull morning headaches
- Rhythmic contractions of the jaw muscles.
- Teeth grinding, which may be loud enough to annoy a sleeping partner.