It’s not inevitable that we lose teeth as we age. However, if we maintain good oral hygiene and visit the dentist regularly, then it may be possible to keep our natural teeth for life. That includes caring for not only the teeth but also the structures that surround them: the gums and tooth-supporting bones.

Periodontal Disease

periodonticsPeriodontal disease is an infection of the tissue around your teeth, also known as gums. When plaque forms on these tissues, it can lead to inflammation and eventually bacteria that cause an abscess (a pocket of pus) to form. The presence of this abscess may be visible as a red or purple spot on your gum, or it may be under the surface of your gum tissue, causing it to turn yellow or brown. If untreated, periodontitis can lead to tooth loss and tooth decay. Therefore, it’s important for dental professionals to regularly check for early signs or trouble. Unfortunately, periodontal therapy may be needed if you experience signs and symptoms like bleeding from your gums, bad breath, or impaired chewing.

Periodontal Therapy Procedures

Periodontists perform several different procedures to treat periodontal disease such as:

Scaling and Root Planing – Removes plaque, calculus, and tartar from beneath the gum line using hand scalers and/or ultrasonic instruments.

Gum Grafting – Places a tissue graft underneath the gum line to strengthen weak or diseased gum tissue.

Periodontal Plastic Surgery – A procedure used to treat severe cases of periodontal disease like pockets or ulcers that affect jawbone structure or support.

Periodontal Laser Treatment – This procedure removes diseased gum tissue with lasers and causes reduced pain and less gum shrinkage.

Crown Lengthening Surgery – This surgery is a simple operation that involves exposing the gum and bone tissue around a tooth. It can be done for either aesthetic reasons or to make sure it’s ready for a new dental crown.

Dental Implants – An artificial tooth root placed onto a healthy tooth root where a natural tooth would have been located. After the implant is attached a natural-looking tooth crown can be applied that protrudes slightly from the gum and is indistinguishable from other teeth.

Your Role in Periodontal Health

Everyone has a role in maintaining healthy gums and teeth. Flossing and brushing your teeth can keep oral health in check and remove plaque buildup. Your teeth are important, but you don’t want to neglect your gums. They can suffer from gum disease and receding gums if you’re not careful. Just ask us for tips on how to use a toothbrush where it’s needed!

It’s true that some parts of the mouth, such as the back of the throat, are hard to reach with a toothbrush and floss. Professional cleanings can eliminate any potential problems from hidden bacteria. To really take advantage of your dental exam, it’s important to be aware of what all is involved. Gum disease is just one thing your dentist can detect before you even know anything was wrong.

Eating a nutritious diet and avoiding tobacco in all forms will also keep your periodontal health at maximum strength, as well as giving you a better chance of saving your teeth for life.

Call Sun City Dental El Paso to make an appointment.