Periodontics – (Gum Disease)
Periodontal Disease, or gum disease, is an infection in the gums that is mainly caused by bacterial plaque that is constantly forming on your teeth. When plaque isn’t removed by brushing, flossing and regular dental cleanings, it can turn to tartar —a hard substance that can only be removed by a dentist. When left untreated, plaque and tartar can cause inflammation of the gums, which can develop into infections below the gum line causing the gum to separate from your teeth creating pockets that become infected.
Scaling & Root Planing
The key to oral health starts with brushing your teeth twice daily and flossing once a day. Checkups every 6 months with a dentist to professionally remove plaque and tartar build up is also crucial to maintain healthy teeth and gums.
Sometimes, even with good daily oral hygiene, some plaque still remains in your mouth and over time it can harden and becomes calculus. If calculus is left in the mouth, it will cause periodontal disease or gum disease. Calculus can only be removed by a dental professional with a process called ‘scaling’ where either ultrasound vibrations or a manual tool called a scaler are used to remove tartar from the portion of your tooth that is below the gum line. When you go in for regular cleanings, usually twice per year, your dentist will scale each tooth on all sides, and between the teeth, to remove tartar build up, especially in the most difficult places to reach. If you are particularly sensitive, your dentist may temporarily numb your teeth and gums so the cleaning process isn’t uncomfortably painful.
After the calculus is removed from the tooth, the surface of the tooth will be left rough and not feel smooth in your mouth. These rough and irregular surfaces are smoothed away with a process called ‘root planing.’ This will help prevent future periodontal disease, reverse any early signs of gum disease and to prevent any existing periodontal disease from spreading.
Scaling and root planing are the first and most basic step in preventing periodontal disease. Daily brushing and flossing along with twice yearly visits to your dentist, will help you maintain healthy teeth and gums and prevent more serious periodontal disease.
Arestin: Fighting infection where it starts.
ARESTIN® (minocycline hydrochloride) Microspheres, 1 mg is an effective antibiotic treatment that comes in powder form. This powder is placed inside infected periodontal pockets just after the dental professional finishes the scaling and root planing (SRP) procedure.
In some cases the dentist may need to re-build the jawbone to accommodate a dental implant. This is used when the existing jaw bone has deteriorated and there is not enough healthy bone in the mouth to place an implant. The jaw and facial bones support surrounding muscle and skin. Without the support of the underlying bone, whether from grafting or natural existing jaw bone, your face can look prematurely aged.
Crown lengthening involves lowering the gum line so that there is enough tooth exposed to affix a crown. In the event you have a broken tooth below the gum line, crown lengthening is a good option to expose more of the tooth so that the dentist has something to work with.
The frenulum is the piece of tissue that connects your upper and lower lips to the gums. If the frenulum is too short or thick, it can cause problems with speech or tooth alignment. A “frenectomy” is a minor surgical procedure that is performed by your dentist in the office and takes less than 15 minutes. The dentist will use laser or scalpel to remove some of the frenulum and correct the issue.
Have you ever woken up with a sore jaw, or bite down and feel like you jaw is lopsided? If so, then you may need an occlusal adjustment. An occlusal adjustment corrects the alignment of the bite. The mis-alignment may be have been caused by loose, shifting, crowded, or missing teeth. After an occlusal adjustment to re-align your bite, your teeth will meet properly. The procedure will cause minimal pain and discomfort. If you have loose or missing teeth, or grind your teeth, an occlusal adjustment may be the appropriate course of action. If you suspect that you may need an occlusal adjustment, please call our office today and schedule an appointment.
Periodontal Splinting (Weak Teeth)
if you have teeth that feel loose, you should contact your dentist immediately. There are a number of reasons that may cause your teeth become loose, including lost gum tissue, injury, orthodontic treatment, or pressure caused by tooth misalignment. Periodontal splinting is a procedure that attaches weak teeth together, that enables them to act as a single unit that is stable and stronger than the tooth was individually. Commonly performed on the front teeth, multiple teeth are “splinted” together.
Osseous Surgery / Pocket Reduction
In some cases the effects of periodontal disease can leave the tooth with a “pocket” between the gum and tooth even after the infection has been cleared and the problem has been resolved. Sometimes the enlarged gum or pocket can be aesthetically unappealing, other times you may not notice at all. Either way, this pocket that exists will require more frequent cleanings as it can become a haven for bacteria. With osseous surgery, the dentist can suture the gum to where the bone has resorbed. The goal of the procedure is to create a space is large enough that it can be cleaned through daily oral hygiene, but small enough that it is not a breeding ground for plaque and bacteria to build up.
Wasserman Family Dental is conveniently located at 17111 Northern Boulevard, Flushing, NY.
We offer checkups, emergency dental care, and welcome new clients.