When it comes to oral health, many of us focus on ensuring that our teeth look and feel as healthy and attractive as possible but overlook a vitally important aspect of our dental care – our gums. The gums around our teeth are essential for holding them securely in place and maintaining the appearance of our smile. They surround the teeth, providing a seal that protects the inside of the jaw from bacteria and food debris. They are also tightly bound to the underlying bone.
Keeping our gums healthy is crucial if we want to enjoy great dental and overall health. Unfortunately, periodontal disease, which is an inflammatory condition that affects the gums is extremely common and can have severe consequences. In fact, it is estimated that 75% of tooth loss is due to periodontal disease and studies have found that patients with periodontal disease are more likely to be diagnosed with chronic conditions including high blood pressure, diabetes, heart problems, and even cancer.
We are delighted to be able to offer our patients the benefit of a comprehensive range of periodontal services at our dental offices in Castro Valley, CA. Here is what you need to know about the periodontal disease including how we can treat it.
Periodontal disease is caused by plaque, a sticky film of bacteria that constantly forms on our teeth. If plaque isn’t regularly removed through daily tooth brushing, it can harden into a substance called tartar, which can only be removed by a dental professional. Unfortunately, the bacteria in plaque and tartar can spread onto the gums, causing irritation and infection.
Periodontal disease occurs in stages with the earliest referred to as gingivitis or gum disease. At this point, symptoms are mild and the condition can be reversed. However, as periodontal disease progresses, the effects become significantly worse until permanent damage occurs.
- Gums that bleed when you brush your teeth
- Gums that look red and swollen
- Sore gums
- Sensitive teeth
- Bad breath
- Gum recession
- Brown deposits on the teeth
- Loose teeth
- Jawbone deterioration
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms it is important that you make an appointment with our periodontal team as soon as you can. The earlier treatment is sought, the better your treatment outcome is likely to be.
We understand just how important your gums are for your overall oral health and this is why their condition will be evaluated at every dental appointment that you attend at our offices. If you are found to need treatment, you may be referred for any of the following periodontal services:
The most straightforward treatment, scaling, and planing involves our dental team removing all of the plaque and tartar visible on the teeth and below the gum line. The tooth below the gum is then smoothed so that the gum can reattach more easily, resealing the gum against bacteria and decay.
If the gums have significantly receded away from the teeth, you may be recommended to have gum grafting. This is where soft tissue from the palate is taken and attached to the gums to cover any gaps and encourage new, healthy gum growth.
If your gums are puffy and inflamed, your teeth may appear like they are undersized. A crown lengthening procedure, which involves reshaping excess gum and bone tissue, can even out your gum line and improve the cosmetic appearance of your smile.
If your periodontal disease is so severe that you have lost a tooth or require an extraction, you may be thinking about the best way to restore your smile. A dental implant is a fantastic restoration that uses an artificial root to support a prosthetic that looks and feels just like a regular tooth.
If you would like more information about any of the periodontal services listed here, or if you would like to schedule an appointment to discuss your personal dental requirements, please contact our offices in Castro Valley, CA by calling (510) 674-0900 today. Our reassuring dental team will be happy to help.