Context of a Healthy Smile
Studies say that 50% of people notice the mouth and smile as the first facial feature when meeting another person. How important, then, is the health of the soft tissue gums that “frame” your teeth within that smile?
If too much gum tissue is displayed, your teeth look short, and your smile looks “gummy” and awkward. On the other hand, loss of that pink tissue “frame”, receding gums, and widening gaps between your teeth give a “toothy” appearance, making you look older than you really are. Red and angry, tissue that bleeds and hurts when eating, brushing or flossing, and a persistent bad breath may all be signs of disease of the underlying bone support that leads to tooth loosening and premature tooth loss!
Medical Implications of the Gums
Unfortunately, periodontal disease symptoms may be totally silent and have a broader medical impact. Missed or untreated bacterial infection, abscess and chronic inflammation of the gums can affect organs, arteries and tissue systems throughout the body. The Center for Disease Control statistics, and a growing body of research, has linked gum and periodontal diseases with heart attack, stroke, diabetes, respiratory ailments, pregnancy issues and other illnesses.
Our office closely examines for the appearance and health of your gums as a part of your initial examination process, and periodically during ongoing dental care. We routinely provide information and coaching regarding techniques and products to help you prevent periodontal problems. Unfortunately, you may already have an existing periodontal condition. And, in times of stress, even the healthiest individuals can show signs of disease. What can be done?
Laser Assisted Non-Surgical Periodontal Treatment
Fortunately, the majority of periodontal disease susceptible patients can be treated effectively non-surgically! Careful ultrasonic and manual root planing to remove bacterial plaque and calculus (tartar), in conjunction with CO2 Laser disinfection and targeted antibacterial and antibiotic medicines, can nurse most ailing individuals back to a state where professionally administered hygiene can then maintain periodontal health. No surgery is needed!
Targeted Surgery When Necessary
However, soft and hard tissue sculpting may be employed for “lengthening” of short teeth, to improve bone support contour or be recommended to provide access for personal oral hygiene tools. Our CO2 laser can also be used not only for delicate sculpting of soft tissue where aesthetics counts, but for major soft tissue procedures where medically prescribed drugs have caused “exuberant” overgrowth of the gums. Routinely, laser use in these circumstances provides tremendous benefits by improving patient comfort and reducing complications.
Today, soft and hard tissue grafting, including “Pinhole” techniques, improve appearance and prevent future tissue loss! These regenerative procedures can cover exposed root recession, and recapture needed hard tissue support for ailing teeth. With timely intervention you don’t have to “throw in the towel” on your gums, lose your teeth and end up with dentures!
Ongoing Periodontal Health Maintenance
Effective periodontal therapy requires your personal best efforts for regular, daily and effective oral hygiene as coached. Coupled with your commitment, quarterly scheduled professional maintenance will provide a well tested protocol for maintaining your optimal periodontal health, appearance and comfort!