Adults lose more teeth due to gum disease than to cavities.
What is gum disease?
Gum disease is rarely painful. When the brushing and flossing is not done properly, the accumulation of plaque build up around the teeth and mineralizes to become tartar which causes gingivitis. Gingivitis is the first stage of gum disease. Signs of gingivitis are gums that turn red, become swollen or even bleed.
As gum disease gets worse, the gum and the bone tissue supporting the teeth gets destroyed. Without treatment, the teeth loosen and eventually fall out.
What are the symptoms?
When the disease first appears there are no symptoms and no pain therefore it is important to self examine your mouth regularly to spot any warning signs like gums that are very red, swollen, bleeding when brushing and bad breath..
What causes gum disease?
Plaque build up is the main cause of gum disease. Brushing daily will prevent the plaque accumulation on the teeth. Flossing will prevent it in between the teeth. It is hard to remove all the plaque at times. The plaque that is not removed will within 24 hours transform into tarter and build up on the teeth. Only a dentist or an hygienist can remove tartar build up.
There are many other factors that can influence the disease development: the family history, PH of your saliva, the way your bite is, bad habits, the position of your teeth, and smoking.
How to prevent gum disease?
You must brush and floss your teeth regularly. It is also very important to have a dental check up every 6 months because even if you have an excellent hygiene gum disease can develop anyway.
What are the possible treatments?
A complete examination will allow us to evaluate the stage of the gum disease you are at. If in the early stage, maybe you will just need a scaling of your teeth and reminder of the proper brushing and flossing technique or a periodontal cleaning which is a cleaning of the roots below the gum line. In the more advance stages of gum disease, surgery is often the only answer. At the very last stage sometimes even extraction are necessary. It is impossible to gain the bone lost because of the disease but we can stabilize its progression. It is a must to continue seeing your dentist regularly. The success to controlling this disease resides in the close cooperation between the patient and the dentist.
A new technology to kill bacteria:
Periowave™ is a quick and painless technology that works to kill the bacteria associated with periodontal diseases, without the promotion of antibiotic resistance.
Periowave™ utilizes a non-thermal laser light combined with a photosensitizing solution designed to kill bacteria associated with the diseases. Killing the bacteria halts the progression of the disease and allows healing to begin.
In clinical trials, patients receiving the Periowave therapy in conjunction with SRP experienced significant improvements in probing-depth reduction, increases in clinical attachment levels and reduced bleeding on probing.
Periowave™ is :
- Non Antibiotic
To Find out more about Periowave, please contact Dr. Berbari.
What are the goals of gums surgery?
When the bone lost is important and deep pockets are present, it becomes impossible to clean, even for the dentist. The surgical approach allows him to reach the roots of the teeth and clean them. The goal is to remove all of the tartar off the root of the tooth and to lower and reshape the gum line up to where to the bone lost level is so it is easier to remove plaque in the future.
What to do once treatment completed?
Brush and floss properly and regularly. You should visit your dentist for follow ups as recommended. Gum disease can re-appear even if treated. With the help of your dentist, you will keep your smile and will help you work your way to a healthy smile.
Healthy gums should be snug against the teeth, although sometimes they can recede. This may be cause either because gums are of poor quality or really thin. The surface of the root can even be expose and age a healthy smile. A dentist might suggest to you a gum graft. This simple surgery consists in harvesting a piece of tissues at the roof of your mouth and carefully stitching it to a site to improve the quality of the gum. A screen or palatal guard is usually custom made to wear during the healing process. Some pain is to be expected but is usually mild. The healing process takes about 1 week.
Cosmetic gum remodeling
A gum line that is even and smooth are part of a good looking smile. Gummy smiles and long tooth smiles are less then attractive. With the help of Dr. Berbari, cosmetic surgery can help you improve the way you look.
Gummy smiles are usually caused by a short upper lip, a longer then usual jaw bone or severe wear out on the teeth due to grinding. This problem can be resolved by lengthening the teeth.
Gum reshaping consists in removing the excess tissues of your gummy smile, which exposes more teeth for a better looking smile.