Treatments for gum problems

Root planing and scaling

Scaling and root planing is a careful cleaning of the root surfaces to remove plaque and calculus [tartar] from deep periodontal pockets and to smooth the tooth root to remove bacterial toxins.

Scaling and root planing is often followed by adjunctive therapy such as local delivery antimicrobials and host modulation, as needed on a case-by-case basis.
Most periodontists would agree that after scaling and root planing, many patients do not require any further active treatment. However, the majority of patients will require ongoing maintenance therapy to sustain health.

 

Gum graft surgery

Exposed tooth roots are the result of gum recession. Gum graft surgery will repair the defect and help to prevent additional recession and bone loss.

Gum grafts can be used to cover roots or develop gum tissue where it is absent due to excessive gingival recession. During gum graft surgery, your periodontist takes gum tissue from your palate or another donor source to cover the exposed root. This can be done for one tooth or several teeth to even your gum line, reduce sensitivity, and improve the aesthetics of your smile. Whether you have a gum graft to improve function or aesthetics, patients often receive the benefits of both: a beautiful new smile and improved periodontal health – your keys to smiling, eating, and speaking with comfort and confidence.

 

Gum surgery

Your periodontist may recommend a regenerative procedure when the bone supporting your teeth has been destroyed due to periodontal disease.

These procedures can reverse some of the damage by regenerating lost bone and tissue.
During this procedure, your periodontist folds back the gum tissue and removes the disease-causing bacteria. Membranes (filters), bone grafts or tissue-stimulating proteins can be used to encourage your body’s natural ability to regenerate bone and tissue.
Eliminating existing bacteria and regenerating bone and tissue helps to reduce pocket depth and repair damage caused by the progression of periodontal disease. With a combination of daily oral hygiene and professional maintenance care, you’ll increase the chances of keeping your natural teeth – and decrease the chances of other health problems associated with periodontal disease.

 

Dental crown lengthening procedure

You may have asked your periodontist about procedures to improve a “gummy” smile because your teeth appear short. Your teeth may actually be the proper lengths but are covered with too much gum tissue.

To correct this, your periodontist can perform a dental crown lengthening procedure
During the dental crown lengthening procedure, excess gum and bone tissue is reshaped to expose more of the natural tooth. This can be done to one tooth to even your gum line or to several teeth to expose a natural, broad smile.
Your dentist or periodontist may also recommend dental crown lengthening to make a restorative or cosmetic dental procedure possible. Perhaps your tooth is decayed, broken below the gum line, or has insufficient tooth structure for a restoration, such as a crown or bridge. Crown lengthening adjusts the gum and bone level to expose more of the tooth so it can be restored.

 

Dental implants

A dental implant is an artificial tooth root that is placed into your jaw to hold a replacement tooth or bridge.

Dental implants may be an option for people who have lost a tooth or teeth due to periodontal disease, an injury, or some other reason.

 

Sinus augmentation

A key to implant success is the quantity and quality of the bone where the implant is to be placed.

The upper back jaw has traditionally been one of the most difficult areas to successfully place dental implants due to insufficient bone quantity and the close proximity to the sinus. Sinus augmentation can help correct this problem by raising the sinus floor and developing bone for the placement of dental implants.

 

Ridge modification

Deformities in the upper or lower jaw can leave you with inadequate bone in which to place dental implants. To correct the problem, the gum is lifted away from the ridge to expose the bony defect.

The defect is then filled with bone or bone substitute to build up the ridge. Ridge modification has been shown to greatly improve appearance and increase your chances for successful implants that can last for years to come
After treatment, your periodontist will work closely with you and your dentist to develop the best care plan for you. Periodic follow-up visits will be scheduled to monitor your implant, teeth, and gums to make sure they are healthy.

 

Periodontal pocket reduction procedures

After your periodontist has measured the depth of your pocket(s), a periodontal pocket reduction procedure might be recommended if you have pockets that are too deep to clean with daily at-home oral hygiene and a professional care routine.

During this procedure, your periodontist folds back the gum tissue and removes the disease-causing bacteria before securing the tissue into place. In some cases, irregular surfaces of the damaged bone are smoothed to limit areas where disease-causing bacteria can hide. This allows the gum tissue to better re-attach to healthy bone.
Reducing pocket depth and eliminating existing bacteria are important to prevent damage caused by the progression of periodontal disease and to help you maintain a healthy smile. Eliminating bacteria alone may not be sufficient to prevent disease recurrence. Deeper pockets are more difficult for you and your dental care professional to clean, so it’s important for you to reduce them. Reduced pockets and a combination of daily oral hygiene and professional maintenance care increase your chances of keeping your natural teeth – and decrease the chance of serious health problems associated with periodontal disease.

 

Gummy smile or uneven gum smile

If you feel your teeth look too short and your smile is too gummy or your gums cover too much of some teeth while leaving the others the right length, dental crown lengthening might be the solution for you.

During this procedure, excess gum tissue is removed to expose more of the crown of the tooth. Then your gum line is sculpted to give your new smile just the right look.

 

Long teeth/expose roots

Sometimes gum recession causes the tooth root to become exposed, which makes your teeth look long and can make you look older than you are.

This recession can happen as a result of a variety of causes, including periodontal diseases.
Gum graft surgery and other root coverage procedures are designed to cover exposed roots, to reduce further gum recession and to protect vulnerable roots from decay.

 

Indentation in the gums and jawbone

Tooth loss can cause an indentation in the gums and jawbone where the tooth used to be. This happens because the jawbone recedes when it no longer is holding a tooth in place.

Not only is this indention unnatural looking, it also causes the replacement tooth to look too long compared to the adjacent teeth.
Ridge augmentation can fill in this defect recapturing the natural contour of the gums and jaw. A new tooth can then be created that is natural looking, easy to clean and beautiful