When most of us think of oral health issues, we think of cavities, chips, or fractures affecting the crown or visible part of the tooth. But good oral health depends on maintaining the structures that surround and support your teeth, too — structures sometimes referred to as the periodontium.
Periodontal care focuses on maintaining these structures and treating diseases that affect them. Having a dentist who’s skilled in periodontal care helps ensure you get the best care for your healthy smile now and in the future, too.
At DentAlign NYC, Kenn Kakosian, DDS, PhD offers periodontal treatment to help patients in Midtown East Manhattan, New York City enjoy optimal oral health. In this post, learn what periodontal care involves and why seeing a dentist who offers periodontal treatment is so important for your own oral health.
Periodontal treatment: The basics
Periodontal treatment specifically focuses on your gums and connective tissues that support your teeth, along with the bone that surrounds the tooth roots. These structures require specialized care to avoid problems and treat diseases and other issues that threaten the health, structure, and stability of the teeth.
Gum disease (periodontal disease)
A leading cause of adult tooth loss, gum disease happens when bacteria along the gums irritate gum tissue, causing the gums to recede and move down the tooth surface toward the roots. As bacteria multiply, they cause infections that loosen tooth roots and eventually cause the tooth to fall out.
Periodontics focuses on special treatments for gum disease aimed at eradicating bacteria, infection, and inflammation, while restoring healthy gums and preventing tooth loss. In addition to treating severe gum disease, periodontal treatment also helps prevent early gum disease from progressing.
Gum surgery plays a key role in managing some types of gum disease. For instance, flap surgery and gum grafting restores areas of recession with healthy tissue to prevent progression of gum disease.
Other gum surgery, like crown lengthening, treats a “gummy smile,” removing excess gum tissue to achieve a better symmetry between the tooth and the gum.
Scaling and planing
Scaling and planing are deep-cleaning techniques used to treat earlier stages of gum disease. In these treatments, Dr. Kakosian uses special instruments and techniques to reach below the gum line and remove bacteria and inflamed tissue.
During treatment, Dr. Kakosian also smooths the surfaces of the tooth roots, making it harder for bacteria to take hold in the future. Scaling and planing are performed using anesthetics to keep you relaxed and comfortable throughout your care.
Dental implants are a popular alternative to dentures and bridges, replacing one or several missing teeth. Designed like your natural teeth, implants look and feel more natural, and they’re easier to care for, too.
Implants use a metal post implanted into your jaw to support an artificial tooth (crown). Periodontal treatment includes the special techniques used in implant placement surgery.
Symptoms of periodontal problems
Gum disease typically causes no symptoms during its earliest stages, or very mild symptoms that can be easy to overlook. Having routine dental checkups is essential for preventing gum disease and maintaining gum health.
Other times, diseases and infections cause symptoms like:
- Pain when biting or chewing
- Swollen or red gums
- Chronic bad breath
- Temperature-sensitive teeth
- Bleeding gums
- Loose teeth
Periodontal evaluation is also important if you’re considering dental implants or if you wear dentures that don’t fit as well as they once did.
Like every oral health issue, seeking treatment at the first sign of periodontal problems is the key to relieving symptoms and preventing more serious issues in the future. To learn more about the periodontal treatments we offer or to schedule a visit and checkup, call 716-350-0665 or request an appointment online with Dr. Kakosian and the team at DentAlign NYC today.