Do you know that, among adults, more teeth are lost to gum disease than to cavities? Gum disease is very serious, yet in its early stages is rarely painful! Untreated gum disease can cause permanent damage to gum and bone. If still left untreated, the deterioration of the gum and bone can cause permanent loss of teeth, and so we see the importance of preventing and treating gum disease!
Bacteria that live in the mouth, coupled with neglect, are at the root of gum disease. Plaque build-up (preventable by thorough brushing and flossing) mineralizes and becomes tartar, which causes gingivitis, the first stage of gum disease.
Regular (daily), thorough brushing and flossing of your teeth breaks up plaque before it can mineralize (harden) as tartar, the cause of gingivitis. Daily brushing prevents plaque accumulation on the teeth. Daily flossing prevents plaque accumulation between the teeth.
Twice a year, visit us for your regular dental check-up, at which time we will identify plaque build-up as well as any other signs of gum disease in progress.
The symptoms of gingivitis (the early stage of gum disease) are barely noticeable. The first sign are bleeding gums while brushing.
In the most advanced stages, the gum is red and swollen, persistent bad breath; teeth may become loose. You may experience pain. Infection is present and eventually teeth have to be extracted
Plaque that is not removed within 24 hours transforms into tartar and builds up on the teeth. Only a dentist or a hygienist can remove tartar build-up.
Other factors influence the development of gum disease: family history, the PH of your saliva, your bite, certain bad habits, the position of your teeth, and smoking.
A complete examination allows us to determine the stage of progression of gum disease. If in the early stage, you may only need a scaling of your teeth, and a reminder of proper brushing and flossing technique. You may need a periodontal cleaning (a cleaning of the roots below the gum line).
In the more advance stages of gum disease, surgery is often the only answer. At the very last stage of gum disease, extraction may be necessary. Once a significant amount of bone is lost to gum disease (and in the presence of deep pockets), it is impossible to clean, even for the dentist, and also impossible to regain the lost bone, but we can stabilize the progression of the disease and bone loss. Surgery allows the dentist to reach the roots to clean them. After we remove the tartar from the roots, we can lower and reshape the gums to the level of the bone loss, to facilitate future plaque removal.
Following surgery, continue to brush and floss regularly, and to see your dentist regularly. Successfully controlling this disease depends on close cooperation between you and your dentist to prevent the recurrence of gum disease.
Periowave™ is a quick and painless technology that works to kill the bacteria associated with periodontal diseases, without the promotion of antibiotic resistance.
Periowave™ utilizes a non-thermal laser light combined with a photosensitizing solution designed to kill bacteria associated with disease. Killing the bacteria halts the progression of the disease, and allows healing to begin.
In clinical trials, patients receiving the Periowave therapy in conjunction with SRP experienced significant improvements in probing-depth reduction, increases in clinical attachment levels and reduced bleeding on probing.
To find out more about Periowave, please contact Dr. Berbari.
Healthy gums should be snug against the teeth, but sometimes they recede. Very thin or poor quality gums may cause this. The surface of the root can be exposed and age a healthy smile. A dentist might suggest to you a gum graft. This simple surgery consists of harvesting a piece of tissue at the roof of your mouth, and carefully stitching it to a site to improve the quality of the gum. A screen or palatal guard is usually custom-made to wear during the healing process. Some pain is to be expected but is usually mild. The healing process takes about 1 week.
A gum line that is even and smooth is part of a good-looking smile. Gummy smiles and long tooth smiles are less then attractive. With the help of Dr. Berbari, cosmetic surgery can help you improve the way you look.
Gummy smiles are usually caused by a short upper lip, a longer than usual jawbone or severe wear on the teeth due to grinding. This problem can be resolved by lengthening the teeth.
Gum reshaping consists of removing the excess tissue of your gummy smile, which exposes more teeth for a better-looking smile.