Gum Treatments

Gum treatments comprise a broad range of treatments having to do with the Periodontium. This is a fancy word for the gums and bone around the roots of your teeth. Generally, periodontal treatments branch into two categories:

Periodontal Disease Treatment
Replacing Missing Gum and Bone
Periodontal Disease Treatment

What is gum disease?

More correctly called periodontal disease, this can start as inflamed and bleeding gums (gingivitis), and then can progress to a deeper infection with bone loss around the teeth (periodontitis). If allowed to progress without professional treatment and proper homecare, periodontitis will result in loose teeth, and eventual tooth loss. Periodontal disease is initially caused by buildup of plaque and calculus on the teeth. The bacteria and toxins in the plaque and calculus, cause an inflammatory response in the bone and the connective tissue that surrounds the root. Research has shown that the body’s inflammatory reaction is responsible for the destruction of these tissues. Some people are naturally more prone to periodontal disease because of a high inflammatory response. Certain conditions such as diabetes, medications, oral care, diet, and smoking, are also factors.

Periodontal Disease Treatment

What can we do to treat gum disease?

Scaling and root planing the teeth are the frontline modalities used. These treatments physically remove all the calculus and bacterial toxins from the root surfaces. These procedures are done very comfortably by our skilled hygienists. Occasionally, in more advanced disease cases, anesthetic is required for a comfortable appointment. Once the teeth are cleaned, the hygienists at South Central Dentistry will create a specific homecare plan that is tailored to your needs. In severe cases that do not respond to initial treatments, Dr. Caouette will assess the need for more advanced therapies such as; pharmaceutical rinses and laser treatments.
Replacing Missing Gum and Bone

Recession

Missing gum tissue is usually referred to as gum recession. Most adults have minor amounts of recession, which can be caused by abrasive tooth brushing. Occasionally, recession can become severe due to one, or several of the following:

  • Underlying Periodontal disease
  • Poor bite or grinding habit
  • Abrasion from Lip rings or tongue studs
  • Frenum pull
  • Tobacco products

Age is usually a factor as recession will worsen with age. The natural thickness of the gum also plays a role as thinner gum will be more susceptible to recession. Severe recession requires treatment so the tooth roots and the overlying bone are protected.

Dr. Caouette and the hygienists at South Central Dentistry will advise you regarding any recession issues observed at your regular dental appointments.

Replacing Missing Gum and Bone

Bone Resorption

In dental terms, the bone that normally supports natural teeth will shrink away (resorb) with time wherever teeth are missing. Periodontal disease will also result in shrinking bone from around existing teeth, although by a different process. There are several reasons for restoring the bone volume and dimensions that have been lost;
  • To re-establish strong support around existing teeth and to “fill-in” defects that otherwise remain as diseased pockets.
  • To support dental implants, or to create a more esthetic appearance.
  • To create more bone volume where the sinuses have expanded into the area needed for dental implants.

Guided bone regeneration (GBR), guided tissue regeneration (GTR), Sinus Lifts, and other minor bone graft procedures are surgical procedures that direct the growth of new bone at sites with insufficient volumes or dimensions.  These procedures are done to restore health, function and esthetics.

Dr. Caouette and his team at South Central Dentistry perform select bone grafting procedures, often required during or prior to implant procedures.  Some grafting procedures are more complex and therefore patients are referred to a Periodontist or an Oral Surgeon.

Get the quality care that you deserve.