Gum Treatments

Introduction

At Dental Quest we provide a range of gum treatments from all forms of gum disease to cosmetic gum lifts. Many patients presenting with gum recession can be easily treated with some simple dental procedures.

Gum disease is spun from the growth of bacteria in your mouth. This bacteria comes from the buildup of plaque, a sticky colorless film that constantly forms on your teeth, and left unattended can lead to gingivitis.

Gingivitis is the mildest form of periodontal disease. It produces toxins that can irritate gum tissue causing red, swollen gums that bleed easily and become very irritated. If left untreated, it could lead to mild or severe Periodontitis.

Periodontics is the branch of dentistry that deals with the treatment of gum diseases and the other structures around the teeth and jaw bones. If such a condition is not treated, a person could suffer tooth loss and loss of the jaw bone.

Periodontal disease is a chronic bacterial infection that affects the gums and bone supporting the teeth. It causes inflammatory gum lines leaving space around the tooth where food is easily trapped and plaque readily forms.



SOFT TISSUE "GUM" GRAFT

The health and appearance of the gums play important roles in the general aesthetics of a smile. Whether in combination with other Cosmetic Dentistry procedures, or on its own, a 'gum lift' can produce a remarkable, and often unexpected, improvement of a smile.

A gum lift is a cosmetic dental procedure that raises and sculpts the gum line. This procedure involves reshaping the tissue and/or underlying bones to create the appearance of longer or symmetrical teeth, thereby making the smile more aesthetically pleasing. This procedure is typically done to reduce excessively gummy smiles or to balance out an asymmetrical gum line. The procedure, also known as crown-lengthening, has historically been used to treat gum disease. It is only within the past three to five years that dentists have used this procedure for aesthetic purposes.





PERIODONTAL DISEASE

Gingivitis is a form of periodontal disease. Periodontal disease involves inflammation and infection that destroys the tissues that support the teeth, including the gums, the periodontal ligaments, and the tooth sockets (alveolar bone).

Gingivitis is due to the long-term effects of plaque deposits. Plaque is a sticky material made of bacteria, mucus, and food debris that develops on the exposed parts of the teeth. It is a major cause of tooth decay. If you do not remove plaque, it turns into a hard deposit called tartar that becomes trapped at the base of the tooth. Plaque and tartar irritate and inflame the gums. Bacteria and the toxins they produce cause the gums to become infected, swollen, and tender.

Injury to the gums from any cause, including overly vigorous brushing or flossing of the teeth, can cause gingivitis.

The following raise your risk for developing gingivitis:

  • General illness
  • Poor dental hygiene
  • Pregnancy (hormonal changes increase the sensitivity of the gums)
  • Uncontrolled diabetes

Misaligned teeth, rough edges of fillings, and ill-fitting or unclean mouth appliances (such as braces, dentures, bridges, and crowns) can irritate the gums and increase the risk of gingivitis.

Medications such as phenytoin and birth control pills, and heavy metals such as lead and bismuth are also associated with gingivitis.

Many people have gingivitis to a varying degree. It usually develops during puberty or early adulthood due to hormonal changes and may persist or recur frequently, depending on the health of your teeth and gums.

Symptoms

  • Bleeding gums (blood on toothbrush even with gentle brushing of the teeth)
  • Bright red or red-purple appearance to gums
  • Gums that are tender when touched, but otherwise painless
  • Mouth sores
  • Swollen gums
  • Shiny appearance to gum

PREVENTION

Good oral hygiene is the best prevention against gingivitis because it removes the plaque that causes the disorder. The teeth should be brushed at least twice daily and flossed gently at least once per day. For people who are prone to gingivitis, brushing and flossing may be recommended after every meal and at bedtime. Consult the dentist or dental hygienist for instructions on proper brushing and flossing techniques.



TREATING GUM DISEASE

Following are some of the procedures that periodontists use to treat patients diagnosed with a periodontal (gum) disease.

Non-Surgical Treatments

AAP treatment guidelines stress that periodontal health should be achieved in the least invasive and most cost-effective manner. This is often accomplished through non-surgical periodontal treatment, including scaling and root planing (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), 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, including surgical therapy. However, the majority of patients will require ongoing maintenance therapy to sustain health. Non-surgical therapy does have its limitations, however, and when it does not achieve periodontal health, surgery may be indicated to restore periodontal anatomy damaged by periodontal diseases and to facilitate oral hygiene practices.

Periodontal Surgery

If you're diagnosed with periodontal disease, your periodontist may recommend periodontal surgery. Periodontal surgery is necessary when your periodontist determines that the tissue around your teeth is unhealthy and cannot be repaired with non-surgical treatment. Following are the four types of surgical treatments most commonly prescribed:

  • Pocket Reduction Procedures
  • Regenerative Procedures
  • Dental Crown Lengthening
  • Gum Graft Surgery

Dental Implants

If you've already lost a tooth to periodontal disease or other reasons, you may be interested in dental implants—the permanent tooth replacement option.

Cosmetic Procedures

In addition to procedures to treat periodontal disease, many periodontists also perform cosmetic procedures to enhance your smile. Oftentimes, patients who pursue cosmetic procedures notice improved function as well. Cosmetic procedures include:

  • Dental Crown Lengthening
  • Gum Graft Surgery
  • Ridge Augmentation