Gum disease, also known as periodontal disease, is a serious, progressive, oral health issue. When plaque and bacteria build up in your mouth, which often happens as a result of neglecting your oral care routine, they irritate your gum tissue. Your gums then become inflamed and pull away from your teeth, leaving space for bacteria to fall into. The bacteria then attack your periodontal ligaments and your jawbone, weakening both. Your gums recede, your teeth become loose, and they may even fall out. At National Dental Hicksville, we can help to halt the progression of gum disease, giving your gums the chance to heal, with periodontal care.
Dental cleanings are a part of your regular oral health care routine and should be performed at least twice a year (every six months, along with your oral exam). Professional cleanings are designed to prevent gum disease from occurring in the first place. During your cleaning, we scrape the surfaces of your teeth, removing plaque, tartar (hardened plaque) and bacteria. Along with regular brushing and flossing, professional cleanings help to limit the amount of buildup on your teeth, keeping your gums safe and healthy.
If gum disease does occur, and the oral bacteria begin falling below your gum line, a scaling and root planing is a minimally invasive procedure that cleans your teeth and gives your gums the opportunity they need to heal. Scaling involves the removal of buildup on the surfaces of your teeth (including between them and right below the gums). Root planing is a process that involves smoothing the roots of your teeth to prevent new bacterial adhesion. A rinse with an antibacterial agent helps to eliminate lingering bacteria.
When you have gum disease, your gums become swollen. Inflamed gums can prevent us from effectively performing a scaling and root planing procedure. With the use of a high-intensity laser beam, no thicker than a human hair, we can safely remove infected gum tissue and gain access to your teeth that we need to clean them thoroughly. The laser allows for pinpoint accuracy, which means less tissue trauma. You experience less bleeding during your procedure, as well as less pain and swelling afterward.
Inflamed gums pull away from your teeth, creating pockets. The bacteria that fall into these pockets continue to attack the tissue, further inflaming it. As a result, the pockets grow deeper. In more serious cases of gum disease, the pockets are so deep that it is impossible to perform an effective treatment. Pocket reduction surgery helps to reduce these pockets, making it easier to clean your teeth and allow your gums to heal. The procedure begins with a local anesthetic. We then make incisions in your gum tissue, which provides access to your teeth and their roots. We then give your teeth a thorough cleaning and stitch your gums back up around your teeth.
More serious stages of gum disease can have devastating effects on your gums and your jawbone. Your gums begin to recede, exposing the roots of your teeth, and your jawbone begins to weaken. Grafting procedures can help to restore the health of your mouth, as well as its aesthetics. A gum graft is a surgical procedure that takes tissue from elsewhere in your mouth and stitches it over areas of recession. A bone graft uses bone from elsewhere in your body (or a bone substitute) to fill in areas of weakness, giving your jaw an opportunity to regain its strength.
If your mouth has been plagued by gum disease, treatment is required. Contact National Dental Hicksville at (516) 629-5086 to schedule your consultation today.