Periodontal Therapy Chapel Hill
fall in love with your smile
Periodontal Therapy Options for Optimal Oral Health
Periodontal therapy refers to a range of surgical and non-surgical techniques that are designed to address periodontal disease, which present as infection or inflammation of the gums and can result in jawbone deterioration.
If you would like to schedule an appointment or if you have any questions about our treatment options, please contact our office at (919) 595-1010. We look forward to creating the smile you have always desired a reality for you.
Periodontal Therapy Options
There are a range of surgical and non-surgical periodontal therapy options available that can effectively reverse the impact of gum disease and reduce the likelihood of tooth loss, prevent the need for tooth extractions, or reduce the need for dental bone grafts. Additionally, there are several treatment options available
Common periodontal therapy procedures include the following:
- Dental Implants: The dental implant process begins with the extraction of a decayed or damaged tooth (if necessary) followed by an x-ray to determine if there is sufficient jawbone to properly hold a dental implant. If there is insufficient jawbone, a dental bone graft may be required. If it is determined that you are a viable candidate, a titanium rod will be installed into your jawbone. After this has healed, the replacement tooth or bridge will be placed on this post and adhered using dental cement or a screw.
- Scaling and Root Planing: A deep cleaning that removes plaque ad tartar that have developed below the gum line. Scaling refers to the removal of plaque and calculus to the surface of your teeth, whereas root planing refers to smoothing out your teeth’s roots in order to prevent additional bacteria from forming and speed up the healing process.
- Periodontal Laser Treatment: Removes gum tissue that has become diseased with lasers. Many patients will pursue this option because unlike traditional treatments, periodontal laser treatment causes less gum shrinkage and less discomfort
- Periodontal Plastic Surgery: Reshaping procedure that is performed to improve the aesthetic appearance of gum tissue
Types of Gum Disease
Periodontal disease is a progressive issue that can gradually increase in severity. Most patients who develop periodontal disease do so in the following order:
- Gingivitis: The earliest stage of periodontitis, gingivitis typically develops due to bacterial plaque that builds up along the gums. Gingivitis is generally indicated by sensitive gums that are red, puffy, and bleed easily. Gingivitis can be reversed with proper cleaning and improved oral health care, but if it is not addressed quickly, it can develop into a more severe form of periodontitis.
- Early Periodontitis: Early periodontitis is caused by the continued build-up of bacterial plaque and develops when gingivitis is left untreated. Early periodontitis is generally indicated by symptoms that are like gingivitis, just more severe. The gums will feel painful and more sensitive, and brushing and flossing can result in excessive bleeding. Unlike gingivitis, which can generally be addressed through a deep cleaning and improved self-care practices, early periodontitis will likely require more intensive interventions, such as laser gum treatment.
- Advanced Periodontitis: When bacteria, plaque, and toxins have developed to the point that gum tissue is being destroyed, a patient has developed advanced periodontitis. Patients who have progressed to this point have developed small pockets between their gums and teeth, which act as breeding grounds for additional bacteria to grow. Because of the additional bacteria, these pockets expand which cause the gums to recede. If left untreated long enough, this recession can result in bone loss.
Proper Care Prevents Gum Recession
Periodontal disease can generally be avoided provided patients practice good oral hygiene habits. Though not a guarantee in all cases, if patients adhere to the following best practices, they can either reduce or eliminate their need for periodontal therapy:
- Brush twice daily (minimum) and practice proper brushing technique. In addition to brushing regularly, it is also important to brush effectively. Our staff will be happy to answer any questions you may have about proper brushing techniques.
- Floss daily. If you are someone who tends to avoid flossing, you may want to consider flossing alternatives, such as interdental brushes or floss picks.
- Be mindful of your diet. One of the best ways you can prevent dental issues from developing is to avoid foods that are sugary or high in starch. If you do drink soda or sugary beverages, try to use a straw to limit exposure of sugar to your teeth. It is also important to swish your mouth with water following meals, as doing so can dislodge food remnants, which, if left alone can create future tooth decay.
- Schedule regular dental exams. Unchecked dental issues can result in additional issues and progression of decay, which is why it is so important to visit your dentist every six months. By providing a deep clean for your teeth and diagnosing potential issues before they progress, these regular checkups are critical to maintaining your oral health.
High-Quality Dental Care
At Cornerstone Family Dentistry in Chapel Hill, all our services are performed with the patient in mind. We want you to feel comfortable in the dental chair, confident in our work, and most importantly, we want you to fall in love with your smile again. If you would like to schedule an appointment or if you have any questions about cosmetic procedures that we offer, please contact us at (919) 595-1010.