Your oral health is more than just about the health of your teeth. It is also about the health of your gums. Gum disease is an oral health issue that develops as a result of a bacterial infection. An abundance of bacteria irritates your gums, leading to inflammation. While the earliest symptoms of gum disease often do not appear to be that serious, the condition can lead to serious consequences when it goes untreated. Without treatment your overall health can be affected: you can be left with gum recession, loose teeth, and even tooth loss. At North Atlanta Family Dentistry, we can provide you with the periodontal care you need to restore the health of your mouth following gum disease.
Scaling and Root Planing
Scaling and root planing is a common treatment for stopping the progression of gum disease and restoring your oral health. This treatment is essentially a deep cleaning of your teeth, both above and below the gumline. Scaling involves scraping the visible surfaces of your teeth, with special attention to the gumline. We eliminate plaque, bacteria, tartar, and other debris. Root planing is the smoothing of your root surfaces, eliminating plaque, bacteria, and toxins. Smoothing the roots prevents new bacteria from accumulating. Finally, an antibacterial rinse is used to kill lingering bacteria.
Lasers are still fairly new to dentistry, but they have become incredibly helpful in a variety of treatments, including periodontal treatments. With a laser, we can effectively remove diseased tissue for a more effective scaling and root planing. Lasers also allow us to kill bacteria inside periodontal pockets and aid in the stimulation of new tissue to help healthy gum tissue grow.
Pocket Reduction Surgery
If your periodontal pockets become too deep, scaling and root planing may not be effective. With pocket reduction surgery, we open the gums to thoroughly clean your teeth, which allows your gums to reattach to your teeth. If your bone has been affected by bacteria, osseous surgery may also be required to smooth the bone, again allowing tissue to begin reattaching. Decreasing the depths of your periodontal pockets makes your mouth easier to maintain.
Soft Tissue Grafting
Gum recession is common with gum disease. As periodontal pockets grow deeper, diseased tissue begins to die off, causing your gumline to recede. This causes your teeth to appear longer, leaving you more susceptible to cavities, tooth sensitivity, and other issues. Soft tissue grafting is a surgical procedure that restores a healthy gumline by harvesting tissue from another area of your mouth, typically the roof, and suturing the tissue over the affected areas of your teeth. As you heal, your existing tissue fuses with the donor tissue, reforming a healthy, natural gumline and a beautiful smile.
Excess gum tissue can also impact the appearance of your smile. However, instead of making your teeth appear long, excess tissue makes your teeth appear too small. The excess tissue can also increase your risk for gum disease and makes treatments like crowns, veneers, and fillings more difficult. Crown lengthening is a procedure that uses a laser to effectively remove excess gum tissue, improving both the quality of your smile and your oral health.
Tooth loss is commonly caused by gum disease. When you lose your teeth, not only is your smile affected but so is your entire quality of life. Tooth loss affects your abilities to eat and speak. It also impacts the health of your jawbone. Dental implants are a modern solution to replacing missing teeth, providing you with an alternative to bridges and dentures. With this treatment, small titanium posts are placed into your jaw to provide support for replacement teeth. Your bone fuses to these posts, turning them into secure, stable roots. Not only do dental implants replace the functions of your missing teeth, but they also help to stop and prevent bone loss in your jaw.
If gum disease has impacted the health of your mouth, periodontal care is needed right away. Call North Atlanta Family Dentistry at (470) 387-0500 to schedule your consultation today.