An excellent dentist doesn’t focus solely on your teeth. Your gums are arguably even more important to your oral health – without healthy gums, even strong teeth aren’t well supported. To this end, our Oakland dental practice offers periodontal consultation and treatment. Whether you are in the throes of periodontitis (gum disease), recovering from it, or simply working to avoid it, we offer an appropriate periodontal treatment. Keeping your gums healthy not only improves your oral health, but has positive effects on whole body health and even the length of your life.
The first level of gum disease is gingivitis, when gums are inflamed due to plaque buildup. Should gingivitis progress without intervention, it will become periodontal disease. At this point, personal oral hygiene will not be able to combat the infection and you will need professional dental attention.
A more involved version of the plaque removal performed during a standard teeth cleaning, scaling refers to scraping plaque from the tooth surface. By removing this plaque, our Oakland dentist allows your teeth and gums to recover from the presence of bacteria. Scaling may be done without anesthesia, as it targets the crown and is not typically painful. If an accumulation of plaque is present on your teeth, local anesthesia may be helpful.
While scaling is done to the tooth’s crown, root planing aims below the gum line to remove hidden plaque from the tooth root. This root-level plaque is especially insidious and can lead to the formation of gum pockets, gum recession, and even tooth loss. Planing will clean away plaque and tartar, as well as smooth the root surface to make it more difficult for bacteria to adhere.
When plaque and bacteria have become lodged deeply in the space between teeth and gums, physical removal may not terminate the infection. Antibiotics may be taken or applied to the infected area to heal it and prevent further disease. Tiny antibiotic packets may be placed in periodontal pockets to protect the fragile area and ultimately decrease pocket size.
After periodontal disease, your gum line may not be the same. Gums will have receded; pockets may gape between teeth and gums; your smile could have changed. In order to return your gums to a preferred state, our Oakland dentist offers cosmetic periodontal surgery. “Periodontal surgery” is a general term for treatments that sculpt the gum line. Our ultimate goal is to balance your tooth exposure and gum height so that your smile is aesthetically ideal. We may accomplish this with the following procedures:
- Soft tissue graft – Periodontal disease results in gum recession, which leaves tooth roots exposed and sensitive. A soft tissue graft will take tissue from a healthy area of the mouth and connect it to the receding gum line. This not only protects the tooth root, it improves an overly toothy smile.
- Gummy smile correction – If your gums have swollen and cover too much tooth surface, our Oakland dentist is able to remove the excess gum and reveal the healthy tooth beneath.
- Pocket reduction – After your periodontal disease has healed, you may be left with unsightly pockets that once held accumulated plaque. Dr. Ghassemi is able to suture those pockets to reduce their size and prevent reinfection of the area.