The team here at Lanier Valley Dentistry are experts when it comes to Periodontal Treatment. When one thinks of dental care, usually they think about teeth, but just as important are the tissues that surround and support the teeth. These tissues are collectively called Periodontium, and they are made of the alveolar bone, the cementum, the periodontal ligament, and the gingiva (gums).
The Alveolar bone is the bone area that is directly responsible for keeping the tooth sockets for the teeth and housing the necessary nerves, blood vessels, lymphatic vessels and other supporting networks leading to the teeth and the rest of the periodontium. The Periodontal ligaments are the connective tissue that holds the tooth to its tooth socket in the alveolar bone. The Cementum is the surface of the tooth root where the periodontal ligaments attach. The gingiva, or gums, is the soft tissue surrounding the tooth and serves to seal and protect the teeth and bone from injuries and infections.
What Could Go Wrong
Care for the gums is crucial if one is to have all their bases covered in caring for their dental hygiene and health. However, sometimes, diseases will get past your defenses and ruin your dental health. There is a myriad of diseases that one’s gums could contract. The most well-known ones are gingivitis and periodontitis - the difference between the two is gingivitis starts first before periodontitis. Gingivitis is an inflammation of the gums caused by poor dental hygiene, too much accumulation of plaque and tartar, which in turn encourages bacteria growth - this condition is reversible with a thorough clean and lifestyle changes.
What is Periodontitis?
However, Periodontitis is when bacterial infections start to break down the other connective tissues in the periodontium. This causes the gums to retract and shrink in some places, exposing the tooth to even more infection. There is a major risk of the tooth getting loose in the tooth socket or even separating altogether, exposing the mouth to even worse infections. With periodontitis, treatment is more difficult, not only because of the amount of cleaning needed but also because of the need for antibiotics to fight the infection and x-rays to access and monitor the damage done to the periodontium and jaw.
In extreme cases where the gums have retracted so much that the tooth roots are exposed, surgery might be needed to get to areas of the tooth roots where one normally can't reach with scalers. Also, in some cases, the alveolar bone can be damaged to the point where surgery is also needed to recontour the area for one's teeth to be able to heal properly. Also, if one wants to make up for lost gum tissue, one can graft tissue from parts of your unaffected mouth to the affected area. One can also use a special gel that encourages tissue growth like gum and bone tissue
Read more about periodontal maintenance.
If you wish to ask more about the periodontal treatment we offer, feel free to ask when you next book an appointment with us or call us at Lanier Valley Dentistry at (678) 802-8654 today!