Periodontics
Periodontics is a branch of dentistry that deals with diseases of the supporting and investing structures of the teeth including the gums, cementum, periodontal ligaments, and alveolar bone.
What Is Periodontics Treatment?
One of the most common issues a periodontist will treat, periodontal disease, involves inflammation and/or bleeding of the gums. If left untreated, it can result in teeth loosening and even falling out. Doctors may also refer to this as gum disease or periodontitis. It has also been linked to more serious conditions affecting your heart , including heart disease.
Dr. Panchal will help prevent and detect gum disease with regular dental cleanings to remove plaque or tartar that are difficult to reach and remove during regular brushing and flossing. This is just one reason that your regular professional cleanings remain so important.
Another non-surgical treatment called scaling and root planning may be performed. During this deeper cleaning procedure is done under local anaesthetic, the doctor will scrape away (scale) plaque and tartar from above and below your gum line. Then he will smoothen (plane) any rough spots on your roots to remove bacteria, restoring a clean surface so your gums can reattach to your teeth.
Other surgical procedures to restore your gums and other supporting structures of your teeth may be performed:

 

  • Flap surgery/pocket reduction surgery: your gums are lifted back to remove tartar, and irregular surfaces are smoothed to deter bacteria build-up. Your gums are then replaced snugly around your teeth to help eliminate areas where bacteria can hide out.

  • Soft tissue grafts: grafted tissue, typically taken from the roof of your mouth, is stitched into thin or receding gum areas to reinforce them.

  • Guided tissue regeneration: when the bone supporting your teeth (alveolar) has been destroyed, a small piece of mesh-like fabric gets placed between it and your gum tissue, to keep your gum tissue from growing into the area where bone should be. Done in conjunction with flap surgery, this allows the bone and connective tissue to grow so that they better support your teeth.

  • Bone grafts: fragments of your own bone, synthetic bone or donated bone are installed to replace bone that has been destroyed by gum disease. These grafts serve as a foundation supporting the regrowth of your own bone, which will restore the stability of your teeth.

  • Bone surgery: shallow craters in the bone due to bone loss are smoothed out after flap surgery to eliminate areas where bacteria can continue to collect.
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    Key facts

  • While approximately only 1% of children develop gum disease, it is a possibility. It is important to seek periodontal care at the earliest signs of periodontitis to help prevent it from progressing. Periodontists can help determine the risk of developing a more significant problem if a child has signs/symptoms of periodontal disease. They can assist your general dentist by developing a collaborative treatment plan for the long-term management of the patient, minimizing the potential for tooth loss.

  • Gum disease is caused by excessive plaque formation. We all develop plaque buildup, even with good brushing and flossing habits. This is why regular dental checkups are so important! Dental cleanings every six months clear away plaque that unavoidably starts to build up under the gum line and harden to form tartar, or calculus.

  • Gums should not bleed when you brush or floss. Many people think this is normal, but it is actually a sign of gingivitis, a mild form of gum disease. Although you may not want to floss if your gums are bleeding, flossing is actually the best way to treat the cause of infection and stop the progression of gum disease.

  • Excessive brushing can cause your gums to recede. For the most effective tooth brushing that won’t damage gum tissue or enamel, hold your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle and move the bristles in gentle circular motions. Avoid brushing teeth with abrasive substances.

  • Gum disease affects more than just your gums. Infected gum tissue can cause more serious problems such as tooth loss and jawbone deterioration. As bacterial growth destroys gum tissue, the gums begin to recede. This causes teeth to lose their anchor in the gum and fall out. If missing teeth are not replaced, the jawbone atrophies from underuse because it doesn’t have teeth to support.

  • Bad breath isn’t just caused by the food you eat – it can also be an indicator of your gum health. Food residue between teeth leads to bacterial growth, which in turn can cause bad breath. In the early stages of gum disease, bacteria begin to grow between the teeth and the gums, forming infected pockets that contribute to your breath.
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    Frequently Asked Questions
    What are the symptoms of periodontal disease?

  • Red, swollen, sore gums
  • Gums that bleed when brushing and flossing
  • Teeth that appear longer or become loose
  • Large spaces that form between the teeth
  • Gums that begin to pull away from the teeth
  • Chronic bad breath
  • Periodontal disease, if left untreated, can contribute to other health problems including heart disease and diabetes. If you're pregnant, having periodontal disease is also linked to premature birth or low birth weight. Your smile's health affects the overall health of your body.
    Is periodontal disease treatable?
    Gum disease is both preventable and treatable. Today's periodontal treatments provide you with a variety of options that are gentle, safe, and effective. If you have been diagnosed with gingivitis or gum disease, your periodontist can help you determine what treatment best meets your needs. Periodontal treatments include:

  • Non-surgical treatment
  • Periodontal surgery
  • Periodontal therapy
  • Dental implants
  • At-home care (special toothpaste, mouthwash, toothbrushes, and prescription treatment trays)
  • periodontal faqs
    Am I at risk of having periodontal disease?
    You may be at risk of having periodontal disease if you smoke or use tobacco products, you do not brush your teeth and floss regularly, you have health conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, or osteoporosis, or if several of your family members have had gum disease as it can, in some cases, be genetic. If you are experiencing any of the symptoms of gum disease, schedule an appointment with Dr. Panchal who can help determine if treatment is necessary.