Periodontic Care at Cambridge Family Smiles
Periodontics is a dental specialty practiced by a periodontist. This dental practice is geared toward the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of periodontal disease and the placement of dental implants. If you suffer from tooth or gum pain, or oral swelling, a periodontist can help treat your conditions.
Non-Surgical Periodontal Therapy
Non-surgical periodontal therapy removes plaque and calculus by controlling the growth of harmful bacteria and treating conditions that encourage gum disease. This type of treatment may be all that is needed, especially when periodontal disease is caught early. You may need to have certain procedures, such as replacing worn fillings or crowns with overhanging margins that can accumulate plaque, taken care of before periodontal therapy can begin.
Scaling and Root Planing
Scaling is a type of cleaning that removes plaque and calculus from the teeth both at and slightly below the gumline. Root planing is a process that smooths root surfaces, so the supportive tissues can better reattach to the tooth surface. Often, this will be done with local anesthesia so you can relax and feel nothing as we rehabilitate your gums.
Periodontal disease is a bacterial disease and the key to controlling or eliminating it is the effective reduction or elimination of the harmful bacteria. An adjunctive option to scaling and root planing may be provided in either pill form or applied directly to the infected area (gum pocket) in the form of antibiotic powder. An antibacterial mouth rinse also may be prescribed to help control the harmful effects of and reduce bacterial plaque.
An improper bite or a traumatic occlusion may increase bone destruction. We may either choose to adjust your bite so your teeth meet properly and function better, or we can construct a custom bite guard or splint — a removable device that fits over upper or lower teeth — to protect teeth surfaces and relax tense jaw muscles.
If you’re diagnosed with periodontal disease, your periodontist may recommend periodontal surgery. Periodontal surgery is necessary when your periodontist determines that the tissue around your teeth is unhealthy and cannot be repaired with non-surgical treatment.
Pocket Depth Reduction
Your bone and gum tissue should fit snugly around your teeth like a turtleneck around your neck. When you have periodontal disease, this supporting tissue and bone are destroyed, forming “pockets” around the teeth.
Over time, these pockets become deeper, providing a larger space for bacteria to live. As bacteria develop around the teeth, they can accumulate and advance under the gum tissue. These deep pockets collect even more bacteria, resulting in further bone and tissue loss. Eventually, if too much bone is lost, the teeth will need to be extracted.
Periodontal Disease (Gum Disease)
There are many different varieties of periodontal disease and many ways in which these variations manifest themselves. All of these diseases require immediate treatment by a periodontist to halt the progression and save the gum tissue and bone. Here are some of the most common types of periodontal disease along with the treatments typically performed to correct them.
Gingivitis is the mildest and most common form of periodontitis. It is caused by the toxins in plaque and leads to periodontal disease. People at an increased risk of developing gingivitis include pregnant women, women taking birth control pills, people with uncontrolled diabetes, steroid users, and people who control seizures and blood pressure using medication.
Chronic Periodontal Disease
Chronic periodontal disease is the most common form of the disease and occurs much more frequently in people over 45. Chronic periodontal disease is characterized by inflammation below the gum line and the progressive destruction of the gingival and bone tissue. It may appear that the teeth are gradually growing in length, but in actuality, the gums are gradually recessing.
Aggressive Periodontal Disease
Aggressive periodontal disease is characterized by the rapid loss of gum attachment and the rapid loss of bone tissue. The disease itself is essentially the same as chronic periodontitis but the progression is much faster. Smokers and those with a family history of this disease are at an increased risk of developing aggressive periodontitis.
Periodontal Disease Relating to Systemic Conditions
Periodontal disease can be a symptom of a disease or condition affecting the rest of the body. Depending on the underlying condition, the disease can behave like aggressive periodontal disease, working quickly to destroy tissue. Heart disease, diabetes, and respiratory disease are the most common cofactors, though there are many others. Even in cases where little plaque coats the teeth, many medical conditions intensify and accelerate the progression of periodontal disease.
Necrotizing Periodontal Disease
This form of the disease rapidly worsens and is more prevalent among people who suffer from HIV, immunosuppression, malnutrition, chronic stress or use tobacco. Tissue death (necrosis) frequently affects the periodontal ligament, gingival tissues, and alveolar bone.
Learn more about the treatment of periodontal disease, contact us to schedule your evaluation today.