A periodontal procedure is required when you have serious gum disease, but there are also treatments available to prevent an infection that can lead to losing one or more teeth. One of the best ways to prevent periodontal disease is by visiting a dentist every six months to have plaque removed from your teeth. Plaque is a hard substance that develops on your teeth because you failed to brush or floss away food particles. When food particles remain on your teeth, bacteria begin to multiply inside your mouth, leading to plaque. If you have plaque on your teeth, then you are more likely to have halitosis or tooth decay. The bacteria inside the plaque can also infect your gum tissue, causing swelling and bleeding. At your dentist’s office, a technician can use tools to scrape away the hardened plaque, and you might need to use mouth rinses or take antibiotics to eliminate the remaining bacterial growth.
Have the Infected Gum Tissue Removed with a Laser Technique
When you already have a lot of infected gum tissue around your teeth, a modern laser technique is used to remove the skin and bacteria. In the past, a periodontist used small scalpels to cut away the diseased tissue, leading to a longer recovery time for patients. With a laser, the periodontist can remove the tissue faster and more precisely, and a patient has a shorter recovery time with less discomfort. If your gum tissue is not seriously inflamed, then a periodontist creates flaps using the laser to lift the tissue in order to use small instruments to remove the bacteria from your dental roots. Root planing is more extensive than your routine dental examination cleaning because it involves cutting away some of your gum tissue. In addition to scraping away bacteria, your periodontist can smooth the root with an instrument to keep food particles from adhering to its surface. With this technique, you do not need sleep sedation and your recovery time is shorter and easier.
Gingival Grafts to Protect Your Dental Roots
Your dentist may notice that your gum tissue is beginning to recede, exposing sensitive tooth roots. When your gum tissue begins to recede, you will have symptoms that include increased sensitivity to hot or cold beverages. In addition, food particles are more likely to get stuck in these depressions, leading to bad breath and an unattractive appearance. If you fail to remove the debris from these areas, then it is possible to develop a root infection that can require a root canal procedure. Fortunately, a periodontist can graft new tissue over the depressions in order to protect your dental roots while creating a more attractive appearance. Your dentist will remove a small piece of tissue from the roof of your mouth to place over the exposed root. This skin graft is attached to the surrounding tissue with tiny stitches that will dissolve over several weeks. During this time, the grafted tissue begins to meld with the surrounding gum tissue, and within a few weeks, it looks normal again.
Lengthening a Tooth to Prepare It for a Crown
If you have a tooth that has severe damage caused by an injury or decay, then a dentist will want to protect it with a crown. This type of dental restoration is designed to cover the entire tooth after it is prepared by the dentist. In order to prepare a tooth for a crown, a periodontist can lengthen the exposed surface of the exterior of the tooth with a surgical procedure. To lengthen the tooth, a dentist anesthetizes you to create a flap around the tooth by cutting the gum tissue. After this piece of tissue is folded back from the tooth, the periodontist reduces the height of the alveolar bone with specialized tools. The piece of gum tissue is stitched back into place, and it will reattach in a few weeks. A diseased or damaged tooth requires additional preparation that includes removing its pulp and root before filling it with a durable resin. After all of these procedures are completed, a customized crown is placed over the tooth to provide a sturdy biting surface.