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    Periodontics is a discipline of dentistry that focuses on the supporting structures around your teeth. These structures are collectively known as the periodontium. The word periodontics comes from the Greek words “peri,” which means around, and “odons,” which means tooth. Periodontics revolves around preventing, diagnosing, and treating illnesses of the surrounding and supporting tissues of teeth. Periodontics seek to preserve these structures’ function, health, and aesthetics. If you need reliable periodontal treatment, contact The Lakewood Dentist today.

    What Is Periodontics

    Periodontics is the field of dentistry involving everything “around the tooth”—gums, jawbones, and tooth roots. Conversely, a periodontist is a dental expert who works “around the tooth.” According to the American Academy of Periodontology, a periodontist is “a dentist who focuses on the prevention, detection, and treatment of periodontal disorders, as well as the installation of dental implants.” Periodontists can also help with any type of mouth inflammation.

    Periodontists undergo three years of training and education above what students seeking to be general dentists receive in dental school. The additional education that periodontists receive guarantees they are well-prepared to manage problems impacting their teeth surrounding tissues and supporting structures.

    The periodontal structures consist of the following:

    The Role Of Periodontics In Dentistry

    Periodontics is crucial to maintaining the beauty of your smile and ensuring that your teeth do not fall off because of oral health issues. Periodontics focuses on the structures that support your teeth, including the gums and the jawbone that holds your teeth roots together. Good periodontal health can enable you to keep your teeth for a lifetime.

    Periodontics significantly reduce your risk of gum disease, also known as periodontal disease. Periodontal disease is a condition where bacterial infection damages your gums. There are two types of periodontal disease: periodontitis and gingivitis. Gingivitis is characterized by mild symptoms like bleeding gums, especially when bleeding. Other common signs of gingivitis include gum sensitivity and discoloration. If gingivitis progresses into periodontitis, you will be at a higher risk of:

    The conditions mentioned above occur due to the weakening of your teeth’s support system. When gum recession occurs, deep pockets can occur between your teeth. If this condition is not addressed, your teeth could eventually fall off.

    Periodontics revolve around diagnosing, preventing, and treating periodontal issues like gum recession, jawbone loss, and other periodontal disease issues. The concern of most dentists is prevention through consistent oral hygiene and routine dental cleanings. Your dentist can recommend scaling and root planing if severe periodontitis occurs. Periodontists also perform gum grafts and bone grafts to address the effects of periodontal disease.

    The Common Periodontal Treatments

    Periodontal disease is curable and reversible if diagnosed early. Brushing your teeth, flossing, and using antimicrobial rinses are all crucial in preventing periodontal disease. Maintaining a routine of dental checkups is also vital.

    Unfortunately, people often put off seeking help for far too long. When they eventually do, their teeth could have suffered considerable damage. They could then need treatments as well as reconstructive work.

    Your gums are essential in keeping the teeth in excellent condition. However, gums receive less attention than teeth. Gum disease is among the primary causes of adult tooth loss. Dental offices perform countless periodontal treatment procedures daily. It is crucial to visit your dentist regularly so that they can evaluate your gums and educate you on how to care for them properly.

    A periodontal screening is performed when a patient visits the periodontist for a gum issue. This is to assess the patient’s periodontal health. The dentist evaluates the gum pockets for bleeding and plaque deposits during the dental exam. They will examine the gums for signs of disease, like color change. The patient’s medical and oral history is crucial during the assessment.

    After collecting the relevant information, the periodontist develops a dental hygiene regimen for the patient. Here is a list of periodontal treatments that dentists perform based on the symptoms:

    1. Scaling and Root Planing

    Scaling and root planing are also known as deep cleaning. The procedure involves removing tartar, the hardened minerals often attached to your teeth. If you have periodontitis, an advanced gum disease, you could be a good candidate for these procedures.

    Tooth scaling involves removing tartar from the visible surface of your teeth. Root planing is a procedure that removes tartar build-up from the roots of the teeth beneath the gum line.

    Periodontal disease does not typically cause pain. During a dental checkup, your dentist can diagnose you with periodontitis. You could be subjected to dental X-rays to check for cavities, dental abscesses or tooth infections, and bone loss. If you have periodontal disease, your dentist will discuss treatment options. Scaling and root planing will be performed at a later date.

    This comprehensive dental cleaning removes tartar from your teeth, even the roots beneath your gum line. The dentist numbs your mouth using a local anesthetic to reduce discomfort or pain. You are awake and alert during the process.

    What to Expect During Scaling

    During scaling, your dentist will use a vibrating tool known as an ultrasonic scaler. The typical steps followed during root scaling include:

    What Happens During Root Planing

    Root planing is similar to tooth scaling, only it is performed on the roots of the teeth, which are located beneath your gum line.

    The dentist will do the following during a root planing procedure:

    Most patients only require scaling and root planing to alleviate the symptoms of minor gum diseases such as gingivitis. If the problems persist, the patient will require maintenance therapy or advanced periodontal treatments.

    1. Gum Graft

    When your gums recede, the tooth root is exposed, leading to various dental and gum disorders. The patient could require a gingival graft to prevent the problem from recurring or worsening, like bone loss.

    A gum graft operation is a procedure that involves using soft tissue to conceal an exposed tooth root. The gum tissue is usually derived from the patient’s palate. After treatment, the gum lines grow even, and your teeth become healthier.

    There are three types of gum graft procedures. The procedure that your dentist chooses will depend on your specific needs. The standard gum graft procedures include:

    Connective-Tissue Grafts

    This is the most common gum-grafting procedure. When performing this procedure, the periodontist cuts a flap of skin from your palate (the roof of your mouth). The dentist obtains a tissue known as subepithelial connective tissue from under the flap. The tissue is stitched to the gum tissue that surrounds the exposed root. After removing the graft (connective tissue) beneath the palatal flap, the periodontist stitches the flap back down.

    Free Gingival Grafts

    These are the same as the connective-tissue grafts. They involve using tissue from the roof of your mouth. However, the periodontist does not remove tissue beneath the top flesh layer. Instead, the dentist removes a tissue directly from the roof of your mouth and attaches it to the treatment side. This method is ideal if you have thin gums and require additional tissue to enlarge your gums.

    Pedicle Grafts

    Instead of obtaining tissue from the roof of your mouth, the graft is performed on the gum surrounding or close to the tooth, requiring repair. The pedicle (flap) is cut so that one edge remains attached. The dentist then pulls over the gum to cover the exposed root and sews the gum in place. This procedure is ideal for patients with plenty of gum tissue near the teeth.

    1. Laser Technology

    After a typical scaling and root planing procedure, your dentist can recommend laser treatment as a follow-up procedure. Dentists could suggest laser gum surgery over non-laser procedures like gum flap surgery. Additional dental procedures could potentially benefit from laser gum surgery. They include gum contouring for aesthetic reasons to fix a gummy smile.

    Lasers consist of tubes that use focused laser beams of thermal energy to perform several activities during gum surgery. Lasers can:

    Lasers work by altering the energy of atoms. The laser light causes atoms to transition from their present resting state to an excited state. This triggers the atoms to emit energy, a process known as spontaneous emission. When the atoms return to their resting state, they release light particles known as photons. This technique generates the energy required to do specific tasks, like cutting tissues without a blade.

    Lasers use different wavelengths and power ranges. Utilizing the incorrect laser can cause gum tissue damage. As a result, it is critical to consult an expert with extensive experience in laser treatment.

    Other potential issues include:

    1. Regenerative Procedure

    Bone damage is among the leading causes of severe gum infections. A basic periodontal procedure can no longer fix the condition at this point. However, the regenerative technique can save both the bone and the damaged tooth. Tissue-stimulating proteins are used in the treatment to restore the health of your jaw bone and tissues naturally.

    1. Dental Crown Lengthening

    Crown lengthening could be recommended if insufficient tooth structure supports a dental crown. Teeth that are damaged or decayed can prevent a dental crown from securely attaching. Crown lengthening removes gum tissue and trims away bone to expose a larger portion of the tooth above the gum line. A well-fitted crown improves dental hygiene and enhances comfort. Some patients seek crown lengthening to correct a “gummy smile,” which occurs when the gums appear above the teeth when smiling.

    What happens during dental crown lengthening?

    Crown lengthening will be performed as an outpatient surgery by your periodontist. This means that you will be able to go home after that. The length of the treatment depends on the number of teeth involved and whether soft tissue and bone must be removed. If your nearby teeth have temporary crowns, your periodontist could remove them before the surgery and replace them afterward.

    Most patients receive a local anesthetic and can also be given a sedative. The periodontist separates the gums from the teeth by cutting them and exposing their roots and bones. Sometimes, just the gum tissue is extracted. Before suturing, the surgeon cleanses the surgical site with salt water. The surgeon sews the gums together, occasionally covering the area with gauze for extra protection.

    When the local anesthesia wears off, you will experience some pain, so your surgeon will likely prescribe pain medicines and a particular mouth rinse to speed up gum healing.

    After the surgery, you could experience slight bleeding at the treatment site, and your teeth will likely be sensitive to cold or hot temperatures. Over time, this sensitivity will fade. Your tooth could appear longer than neighboring teeth. In addition, if the bone was removed, the tooth could feel looser. If you lose the tooth later, the dental crown lengthening could make placing a dental implant more challenging.

    1. Pocket Reduction

    Pocket reduction is a surgical treatment used to eliminate dangerous microorganisms trapped between your gums and teeth. While scaling and root planing can help cure moderate cases of gingivitis, pocket reduction surgery is frequently required when the oral disease has progressed. Depending on your situation, your periodontist can combine pocket reduction with additional operations, like tissue regeneration or bone grafts.

    When performing a pocket reduction surgery, the periodontist will most likely follow the following steps:

    During the first few days after pocket reduction surgery, you could experience slight swelling and discomfort. Applying a cool compress to the inflammation every 15 minutes will assist. Additionally, your periodontist could recommend pain relievers to alleviate any persistent discomfort.

    You also have to follow a soft-food diet for at least two weeks. Foods like soups, mashed potatoes, broths, apple sauce, pudding, oats, and others can provide you with the necessary nutrients and vitamins while enabling your mouth to recover.

    Are you a good candidate for pocket reduction?

    Arrange an appointment with a periodontist to determine if pocket-reduction treatment is suitable. During this session, he/she will use a special probe to determine the size of pockets between the gums and the teeth. A pocket depth exceeding 5 or 6 millimeters indicates severe periodontal disease. In this case, your periodontist will likely propose pocket-reduction surgery.

    Periodontal disease is a severe ailment that can ruin your mouth and smile for the rest of your life. If you have any worries about the condition of your gums, talk to a periodontist regarding pocket reduction.

    1. Dental Implants

    Severe gum disease can result in tooth loss. Installing dental implants to which you attach dental crowns is one method of restoring completely functional prosthetic teeth. Tooth implants consist of metal screw-like posts. The screw is deeply embedded in the jawbone to provide a solid foundation for your new tooth. The periodontist must make a gum incision to access the bones and stitch the gums completely. This process allows the post to bond with the jawbone and oral tissues.

    The type of implant used and the health of your jawbone determine how the implant procedure is performed. Multiple procedures can be involved in dental implant surgery. The main advantage of implants is that they provide stable support for the new teeth. The process requires the bone to heal properly around the implant. Because bone regeneration takes time, the procedure could take months.

    The placement of dental implants can involve many experts, including:

    All these experts will work together for a seamless dental implant surgery.

    The Common Signs That You Need To See A Periodontist

    People often wonder, “Do I need to see a periodontist?” You probably visit your dentist regularly for routine dental checkups. Why must you visit a periodontist if you have already seen a dentist?

    Unlike general dentists, the difference is that periodontists do not just focus on the teeth. Periodontists help keep your teeth healthy by ensuring that your gums and the bone structures that support the teeth are also healthy.

    Here are the common signs that you should visit a periodontist:

    Bleeding Gums When Brushing Or Flossing

    Bleeding gums are a common sign of periodontal disease. If you bleed when brushing, this could be an early sign of gingivitis. You could have advanced periodontitis if you have unexplained gum bleeding after eating. You should consult a periodontist when you notice bleeding gums.

    Red, Tender, Or Swollen Gums

    The bacteria that lead to gingivitis also cause gum inflammation. Inflamed gums can create deep pockets around your teeth if not treated. As the periodontal pockets grow deeper, they increase the risk of tooth loss. Therefore, you should not ignore swollen gums.

    Inflamed gums also appear redder than pink and are sensitive or tender to touch. You should contact a periodontist if you have swollen gums or unexplained gum pain.

    Halitosis (Chronic Bad Breath)

    Bad breath is not an obvious sign that you should consult a periodontist. Sometimes, bad breath could result from the food you eat. However, it should be a cause for concern if you have chronic bad breath. Chronic bad breath could be a sign that you have periodontal disease.

    Sensitivity To Hot Or Cold Foods And Beverages

    Advanced periodontal disease can cause tooth sensitivity due to the receding gums and exposed tooth roots. Eroding enamel can also cause temperature sensitivity, which is a significant problem. If your teeth are sensitive to hot or cold temperatures, you should seek immediate treatment to halt the advancement of whatever negatively impacts your teeth.

    Gum Recession

    Your gums could be receding if your teeth appear longer. Gum recession is a common sign of advanced periodontal disease and could have severe side effects. Loss of gum tissue around your teeth can lead to exposure of the tooth roots and, eventually, tooth loss.

    Loose Teeth In Adults

    Your teeth should last forever after you have lost your baby teeth. Periodontitis can deepen the pockets around your teeth, making the teeth loose. You could also have shifting teeth. If you have trouble chewing or if there is a change in how your teeth fit together, make an appointment with your periodontist. Loose teeth are also a sign of jawbone loss. Timely treatment is crucial.

    Find an Experienced Periodontist Near Me

    There is more to dental health than healthy teeth. You must also ensure that the structures that support your teeth (the gums and jawbone) are healthy. This is where periodontics come in. The Lakewood Dentist provides reliable periodontal services at an affordable cost. Contact us at 562-423-1441 to speak to one of our dentists.

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    Find a Dentists Near Me

    Your smile is one of your defining features, and you should trust your oral and general health to an upstanding dental practice. The experienced team at The Lakewood Dentist is happy to be your family’s primary resource for practical and gentle dental services. With the proper care, you can enjoy a healthy, beautiful, and lasting smile, and we are excited to assist you in reaching your goals! Whether your smile needs restorative care to repair damaged teeth, cosmetic care to enhance your smile’s appearance, or you are looking for a new dentist to care for your family, we have your ultimate solution.

    Our friendly dentists welcome patients throughout Lakewood to discover why many choose us to meet their oral health needs. Whether you want to establish ongoing care, are new to the area, or want to discover how state-of-the-art technology can assist you feel and look your best, our practice has the technology, personalized approach, and skills you deserve. We will ensure you are comfortable during your visit.

    Contact our friendly team today at 562-423-1441 to learn more about our broad range of services and to get started!