Gum disease is also referred to as periodontal disease, and it is a bacterial infection that destroys the attachment fibers and supporting bones that anchor the teeth in the mouth. Gum disease if left untreated could lead to tooth loss as well as increased risk of heart attack or stroke. The leading cause is plaque which is bacteria that constantly sits on the teeth. Daily brushing and flossing along with regular professional dental cleanings can significantly decrease your chance of developing periodontitis. The plaque that stays on the teeth for longer than a few days can harden and calcify. This is called tarter or calculus. This substance than requires a professional dental cleaning to remove it. At first, the calculus irritates the gum. It may appear as redness around the base of the teeth. This progression is called gingivitis. In time, the gum pockets widen as more calculus sits under the gum and the disease now involves bone loss as well as tissue loss. The is called periodontitis. There are stages of this disease, mild, moderate, and severe.
Treatment of periodontal disease is a full mouth scaling and root planning. This is the first line of defense. Local anesthesia may be used along with antimicrobial medicaments to resolve the bacteria and reduce the gum pockets. Some times the disease is too advanced for this treatment. A referral to a periodontist for further evaluation is required. Proper diagnosis of this disease is key to proper treatment. A full mouth gum analysis should be performed by your dental provider prior to determining the type of cleaning necessary. A full comprehensive set of x rays is also critical.
Our approach is conservative. We use the non-surgical method whenever possible, using the latest antibiotic therapy techniques to fight the bacteria causing advanced forms of periodontal disease.
- Charting and Diagnostics
- Scaling and Root Planing – Periodontal scaling and root planing is a conservative cleaning procedure removing contamination and infection beneath the gum. Scaling removes deposits of bacterial plaque, calculus and pus that have accumulated in the infected pocket due to periodontitis. Root planing smoothes and cleans the root of the tooth. Dr. Bhoot uses this non-surgical treatment in cases of early to moderate stages of periodontitis. It may reduce the extent for surgical treatment in the more advanced stages of gum disease.
- Non-surgical treatment – With the use of antibiotics, we provide chemotherapeutic treatment to treat your periodontal disease. We use Arestin, an antibiotic that we administer locally, directly into the infected pockets between your teeth. Usually, we will administer Arestin after scaling and root planing, a common procedure used to treat periodontal disease. We have found Arestin is an excellent treatment for chronic periodontitis, an infection of the gums that can lead to tooth loss. It significantly reduces the depth of infected pockets and helps prevent disease progression
- Crown Lengthening – is a surgical procedure that involves the gum or bone to be removed. This can occur when decay develops below the gum line due to a failing filling or crown. This can also occur when a tooth breaks off at the gum line. The goal of this procedure is to expose more tooth above the gum line. In order for any restoration to hold, adequate tooth structure needs to present to ensure a proper fitting filling or crown. This may also be necessary when a patient has a very “gummy smile” and excess gum tissue exists and the teeth appear very small.