Learn how Cosmetic Periodontics can Dislodge Periodontal Disease
With more than three million cases reported each year, periodontal disease is one of the most common conditions in the United States. Dr. John F. Rink offers cosmetic periodontics treatment at his Charleston, SC, practice, restoring your oral health and helping you achieve a dazzling smile. Contact us today to learn how we can help you protect against the damaging effects of periodontal disease.
Periodontal Disease Overview
Periodontal disease is an infection of the tooth’s supporting structures, including the gums, roots, and pulp. Naturally, the mouth is home to bacteria, which thrive on any food debris they can find. Though nonthreatening for the most part, these opportunistic organisms can cause a great deal of damage if given the chance.
Over time, the acid from bacteria can inflame the surrounding tissue. When combined with food debris, this acid forms a hard, colorless material called plaque. Plaque collects on the teeth, resulting in gum inflammation, referred to as gingivitis or gum disease. While it can cause sensitive gums to bleed, this disease is mildly uncomfortable and easily treatable..
If left on the teeth for too long, however, gingivitis can cause the gums to pull away from the teeth, allowing bacteria greater access to the tissue beneath the gum line. Once these deeper tissues are infected, the disease advances into periodontitis. Although your immune system can fight against the bacteria, long-term damage could result in tooth loss or a reduction in jawbone density.
Symptoms to Watch for
Signs of periodontal disease are often so mild that patients do not notice them. As a result, it can be hard to detect and treat without regular dental appointments. Some of the more common symptoms include:
- Lingering bad breath
- Red or swollen gums
- Tender or bleeding gums
- Pain when chewing
- Sensitive or loose teeth
- Receding gums
Depending on how advanced the periodontal disease is, we may suggest a number of different treatment options:
- Mild to moderate: At-home and preventive solutions are usually enough to control gingivitis and milder periodontitis in the early stages. Regular brushing and flossing loosens plaque, and routine dental visits can eliminate missed debris. If necessary, we can prescribe special mouthwash that prevents bacteria from attaching to the teeth, or antibiotics.
- Moderate to severe: Deep cleaning is the traditional treatment for more advanced forms of periodontitis. Deep cleaning consists of two procedures: scaling and root planing. During scaling, we scrape away the plaque above and below the gum line to eliminate bacteria. During root planing, the surface of the tooth roots are smoothed. This eliminates nooks for bacteria to grow. While scaling and root planing are typically combined, less severe cases may require only scaling.
- Severe: If the infection is severe, gum surgery may be necessary to repair the damage. Procedures could include crown-lengthening to remove infected pockets of tissue, soft tissue grafts to cover tooth roots and reduce gum recession, bone grafting to increase jawbone density, and tooth extractions.
Treatment Prior to Other Procedures
Not only does preventive care protect against oral health conditions and problems, but it is a required step if you are about to undergo a cosmetic or restorative dentistry procedure, such as gum contouring, dental implants, or placing a dental crown.
If it is determined that you have periodontal disease during your initial examination or consultation, you will need to be treated first. Your treatment will be based on the level of disease severity. Dr. Rink will review these steps with you during your consultation.
Schedule an Appointment
At Charleston Center for Cosmetic and Restorative Dentistry, Dr. Rink’s patient-centered approach provides you with personalized, effective treatment. He will take the time to get to know you, and respect your expectations and needs. Schedule your exam today, to help protect yourself from periodontal dental exam appointment and receive a full dental exam and cleaning, ensuring a healthy path, schedule your appointment today