Periodontal disease, better known as gum disease, is one of the most common and damaging dental problems in the world. In fact, It is the leading cause of adult tooth loss in the United States! Early symptoms can be very difficult to identify on your own, which is why our periodontist, Dr. Foley, will be your resource for gum disease detection and treatment at Woodcreek Family Dental. To learn more about how she can take care of your gums, read on.
Scaling and root planing, also known as a “deep cleaning”, enables our team to attack periodontal disease right at the source during its early stages. For this, we’ll first use an ultrasonic cleaner to break up and clear away any plaque and tartar located around and below the gum line (scaling), and then we’ll gently smooth out the rough surfaces of the teeth’s roots. This will make plaque less likely to gather on them in the future, lowering your chances of gum disease progressing further.
Dr. Foley may choose to utilize antibiotic therapy to help you fight the infection after your procedure. This can come in two forms: either a topical antibiotic that we’ll apply directly to your gums or one that you’ll take in pill form. In either case, it will help kill the bacteria that is located deep below your gum line. Afterward, you’ll be advised to come see us for more frequent dental cleanings to make sure your smile stays nice and healthy.
One of the most common symptoms of gum disease is gum recession, in which the tissue actually begins to pull back from the teeth. This can make the teeth appear unnaturally long, and it also exposes the sensitive enamel around the roots, making them more likely to decay and loosen! Dr. Foley can address this problem with a gum graft. She will use either your own, or donated, tissue to replenish the area of your gums that have receded, creating a healthy, beautiful gum line in the process.
Many children have what is called a “tongue-tie,” in which the frenulum underneath their tongue is so short or thick that it restricts the tongue’s movement. This can also occur with the lips, and it can cause a child to have problems eating, speaking, and even breathing properly. Fortunately, Dr. Foley can help by providing a quick and easy frenectomy. She’ll gently separate the tissue, and your child can start feeling better within minutes.
Sometimes, a tooth can develop damage underneath the gum line, or it may be too short to safely support a dental restoration such as a crown or porcelain veneer. In these cases, Dr. Foley can perform a procedure called crown lengthening where she will gently remove some of the bone surrounding a tooth to expose more of the crown, naturally making it longer. She can then repair any damage or prepare the tooth to receive a restoration.