Periodontal Care in Calgary
Prevention is the most important aspect related to your family’s oral health and wellness. At Inglewood Family Dental, we offer periodontal care to protect the health of your gums. Periodontal care focuses on treatment of periodontal, or gum, disease. The treatments associated with periodontal care focus on caring for the supporting structures of the teeth, such as the gums, bone, and surrounding tissue. With more and more patients suffering with some form of gum disease, the need for periodontal care is increasing. While many general dentists can provide basic care, more severe cases will need to see a periodontist.
What is a Periodontist?
A periodontist is a general dentist that attended three additional years of training with the focus on the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of periodontal disease. If you have severe periodontal disease and are at risk of losing teeth, we may refer you to a periodontist. They offer a wide variety of treatments, starting with deep cleanings designed to target gingivitis and periodontitis. Other potential treatments include root surface debridement, tray delivery systems, surgical interventions, and dental implants.
Gingivitis and Periodontitis
Periodontal disease is caused by a buildup of bacteria and mucus in the mouth that forms plaque. This plaque hardens and forms tartar on the teeth. As that plaque and tartar remain on the teeth, the bacteria can cause inflammation in the gums. This is referred to as gingivitis. With gingivitis, your gums may appear red and swollen and brushing your teeth may cause them to bleed. If gingivitis is left untreated, it advances to periodontitis. With periodontitis, the gums begin to pull away from the teeth, creating pockets. Bacteria gets into these pockets and plaque begins growing under the gum line. This can start to break down the bone and connective tissue that keeps your teeth in place, eventually leading to tooth loss.
The main goal of periodontal care is to treat the infection and restore health to the gums and supporting tissue, if possible. Treatment often begins with a deep cleaning that includes scaling and root planing. This cleaning is much more extensive than a regular dental cleaning. Scaling involves removing tartar from both above and below the gum lone. Root planing eliminates rough spots on the root of the tooth where bacteria tends to target.
In severe cases, we may advise a medication to help fight the bacteria after a deep cleaning. This is done through a tray delivery system. A mold is made of your mouth and you are sent home with a tray and medication. Medication is placed inside the tray and then you wear it for the prescribed amount of time.
Periodontal Surgical Procedures
In severe cases of periodontitis, surgical intervention is often a necessary form of periodontal care. One such surgery is a gum graft. As gums recess, they can expose the tooth root. A gum graft takes tissue from your palate or donor and uses it to cover the exposed roots. This can help prevent further gum recession and bone loss.
A periodontal pocket reduction is required when a gum pocket becomes too deep to address with at-home dental care. These pockets allow for extreme bacteria growth and can result in bone and tissue damage. This entails folding back the gum tissue and removing all of the bacteria before securing the gum tissue back into place. With the bacteria gone, the tissue can better reattach to the bone.
In cases where there is already lost bone or tissue, we can provide a regenerative procedure that can help to reverse some damage. After performing a periodontal pocket reduction, we can use bone grafts, membranes, or tissue-stimulating proteins to help your body regenerate healthy bone and tissue.
When periodontitis has caused too much damage and the tooth is lost, we may suggest dental implants to replace lost teeth after the periodontitis has been treated and the gums are healthy.
Preventing Periodontal Disease
Periodontal care can be avoided with proper oral care and regular dental visits. Brushing your teeth after every meal to remove food debris and bacteria is a good start. Flossing once a day, at bedtime, lets you get any trapped food and bacteria out from between your teeth. Using mouthwash can help reduce the buildup of plaque. Seeing your dentist at least twice a year for cleanings will help reduce the buildup of tartar on your teeth and allow your dentist to catch any early signs of periodontal disease before they become a serious problem.
At Inglewood Family Dental, we look forward helping you develop a preventive dental care plan that emphasizes periodontal care to keep your teeth healthy and strong, for a lifetime of use.