Many Americans will develop some form of periodontal (gum) disease over the course of their lifetime. Although gum disease is usually associated with older people, data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has found that nearly 65 million American adults over 30 have some form of gum disease.
Gum disease can cause irreversible damage to your teeth and gums if left untreated, including tooth loss. However, when it’s discovered and treated early, there are several options to reverse or manage the damage. At Scott Young, DDS, our dentists and periodontists offer periodontal and general dentistry services at our office in The Woodlands, Texas.
7 Procedures Performed by Periodontists
Here are seven procedures that a periodontist performs to treat the various stages of gum disease:
Gum graft surgery
One of the symptoms of periodontal disease is gum recession, which can expose the roots of your teeth and trap bacteria under the gumline. Gum graft surgery (gingival graft) is used to replace lost gum tissue in cases of moderate to severe gum recession.
Laser treatments to remove tartar buildup
When the bacteria in your mouth mingle with food, it creates a sticky film called plaque. Over time, plaque hardens into tartar and increases your risk of tooth sensitivity, cavities, and tooth loss. Our periodontist Dr. Kathleen Akers gently removes tartar buildup with laser treatments, which are less invasive and more precise than other procedures.
Dental implants address one of the major symptoms of gum disease: bone loss. When a tooth falls out, the supporting bone tissue begins to erode. The implant replaces the root and fuses with the surrounding tissue to prevent bone loss. A crown is then attached to the implant. Dental implants can be used to replace a single tooth or support an entire set of dentures.
Advanced gum disease attacks the bone and soft tissues that support your teeth and gums. Once the gums start to pull away from the tooth, pockets form which can trap bacteria and increase your risk of infections and other oral health problems. Pocket reduction procedures clear away plaque or tartar and close the pocket so that your gums and teeth firmly fit together again.
Dental crown lengthening
If you have a “gummy smile,” dental crowns can make your teeth longer so that your teeth look more symmetrical.
If you have moderate to advanced gum disease, Dr. Young and our team may recommend a regenerative procedure to stimulate healthy new bone growth or to replace soft tissue that has been damaged or destroyed by bacteria. For example, a bone graft can help to replace and stimulate the growth of healthy new bone tissue in your jaw.
Gum disease can also cause cosmetic damage to your smile, so a periodontist can also make cosmetic improvements to your smile once the oral health issues have been taken care of.
For more information about the various stages of gum disease and the periodontal treatments and services available to you, contact us today to schedule an appointment with a periodontist at our office in The Woodlands, Texas, or request an appointment online.