Taking care of your mouth is essential for maintaining its health. When most people think about a healthy mouth, they tend to focus on the condition of the teeth. While healthy teeth are important for the health of your whole mouth, they are only one factor. The condition of your gums is also important. At Tigard Family Dental, we can provide you with the periodontal care you need to keep your gums, and your entire mouth, happy and healthy.
What is Gum Disease?
Gum disease is an oral health issue that develops as a result of a bacterial infection in your mouth. When it first begins, it is often barely noticeable. Most people do not even know that they have it. However, without treatment, it only continues to worsen. Red, swollen gums begin to pull away from your teeth, forming pockets. Bacteria fall into these pockets and continue to attack your gums from the inside. The pockets grow deeper, and the bacteria begin attacking your periodontal ligaments and your jawbone. Without treatment, you could be faced with gum recession, loose teeth, and even tooth loss.
Cleanings and Exams
Routine cleanings and exams are an essential part of maintaining your periodontal health. During your cleanings, we scrape the surfaces of your teeth, including the areas along and just below your gumline. We carefully remove all buildup, including plaque, tartar, and bacteria. By cleaning your teeth, we help to prevent bacterial buildup and irritation to your gums. With exams, we can assess the condition of your gums and provide you with immediate treatment to prevent early issues from becoming worse.
Scaling and Root Planing
Scaling and root planing is a common treatment for gum disease. This is a deep cleaning of your teeth, during which we not only clean the visible surfaces of your teeth but the surfaces below the gumline as well. We scrape the surfaces of your teeth with a tool called a scaler. Next, we smooth the surfaces of your tooth roots. This process removes plaque, bacteria, and other toxins. With this treatment, your gums can reattach to your teeth.
Pocket Reduction Surgery
If your periodontal pockets are too deep, pocket reduction surgery may be necessary. This procedure involves opening up your gums so that we have access to the roots of your teeth and surrounding bone. We are then able to completely clean your teeth so that your gums can begin reattaching.
When infected gum tissue begins to die off, your gumline begins to recede. More of your tooth surface becomes exposed, leaving you more susceptible to cavities. Gum recession can also expose your tooth roots, which can cause sensitivity. Gum grafting is a surgical procedure that is performed to restore a natural, healthy gumline. With this procedure, soft tissue is transplanted over your affected teeth. As you heal, the tissues fuse and form a new protective seal around your teeth.
If you have too much gum tissue, this can cause problems as well. Too much tissue not only affects the quality of your smile, but it can also impact your periodontal health, increasing your risk for gum disease. A gum lift is a procedure during which excess tissue is removed from your gums, helping to sculpt a more natural, healthier gumline.
Call to schedule your consultation
Taking care of your mouth involves proper care of your whole mouth, including your gums. If gum disease develops, we can provide you with the treatment you need to restore the health of your gums, and protect the health of your whole mouth. Call Tigard Family Dental at (971) 762-1262 to schedule your appointment today.