Treatment of Periodontal Disease
Periodontal disease is an infection of the gums, which gradually destroys the supporting bone of your natural teeth. With periodontal disease, bleeding, redness and swelling do not have to be present. Further, pain is usually not associated with periodontal disease. Periodontal disease damages the teeth, gum and jawbone of more than 80% of Americans by age 45. Research evidence has shown links between periodontal disease and other systemic diseases such as diabetes, coronary artery disease and low birth weight in newborns. Therefore, it is very important that periodontal disease is treated appropriately.
Dr. Raez's practice provides a variety of surgical services. We pride ourselves on the fact that we are very conservative in our treatment recommendations and limit surgery to the areas where it is absolutely necessary.
Many times, the early stages of periodontal disease are best treated with non-surgical periodontal therapy. Even in severe cases, non-surgical periodontal therapy often precedes surgical therapy. This is done to improve the overall tissue quality prior to surgery and also to help limit the areas requiring surgery. In some cases, the occlusion (bite) may require adjustment. When the depth of pockets between teeth and gums are severe, surgery may be needed to restore periodontal health.
Scaling and Root Planing
The initial stage of treatment is usually a thorough cleaning that may include scaling to remove plaque and tartar deposits beneath the gum line.The tooth roots may also be planed to smooth the root surface allowing the gum tissue to heal and reattach to the tooth.
Antibiotics or irrigation with anti-microbials (chemical agents or mouth rinses) may be recommended to help control the growth of bacteria that create toxins and cause periodontitis.
Traditionally, gum disease was treated by eliminating the gum pockets. The infected gum tissue was trimmed away, and uneven bone tissue re-contoured. Although this is still an effective way of treating gum disease, new and more sophisticated procedures are used routinely today.
Crown lengthening (or crown exposure) is required when a tooth has decay or a fracture that is too deep below the gum tissue and not accessible. This procedure exposes more of the tooth, so that a new crown can be placed with ideal form in relation to the gum line.
Bone Grafting Procedures
When pocket depths are deep, bone regeneration procedures, called Guided Tissue Regeneration, are done to restore the lost periodontal structures.
A bite is considered to be healthy when all or most of the teeth are present and not destroyed by normal daily usage. It is destructive when teeth show wear, looseness or when TMJ (jaw joint) damage is seen. Bite therapy helps restore a bite that can function without damage and destruction.