Gum disease is a build-up of harmful disease-causing bacteria on the teeth and the gums. The bacteria cause the gums and bone surrounding your teeth to deteriorate creating “pockets” around your teeth. You cannot always see or even feel these pockets and you cannot effectively clean them out with just a toothbrush. The depth of the pocket is directly related to the possibility of losing the tooth. It is vital that you seek treatment immediately for gum disease. Dr. Danielle Wehle can provide gum disease treatment in Santa Clara, CA.
Gum disease is caused by the bacteria found in plaque. The toxins produced by these bacteria cause our bodies to destroy the bone that supports the teeth. If plaque is not removed, it can harden and form calculus (tartar) that can exacerbate the periodontal problem. Even someone dedicated to good oral hygiene will be unable to completely prevent the formation of all calculus on the teeth. Calculus forms when the minerals in the saliva harden, or calcify, the plaque on the teeth. Plaque is soft and sticky and is continually forming. It is therefore important to ensure proper, thorough brushing and flossing on a daily basis to remove the plaque before it has the chance to solidify into calculus.
Healthy gums and tooth
It is best to diagnose and treat gum disease as early as possible to avoid the more severe effects of periodontal disease. If caught early enough, Dr. Wehle might be able to halt its progression and stop further harm to your gums and health. In fact, gum disease doesn’t just affect the mouth, it’s been linked to serious systemic concerns like heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and certain cancers. Without treatment it can cause gum recession, chronic bad breath and eventual tooth loss. Fortunately, Dr. Wehle is specially trained to offer a number of effective treatment options.
Scaling and root planing is most effective in the early stages of gum disease and is a non-surgical treatment option. Special hand instruments as well as ultrasonic instruments are used to remove all of the harmful calculus and tarter above and below the gum line. The surfaces of the roots are cleaned and smoothed to promote reattachment of the tissue. Scaling and root planing can lower pocket depths up to two to three millimeters on average. That is enough to save your teeth!
Osseous surgery (or flap surgery) is performed on patients who have moderate or advanced gum disease. Typically, flap surgery is performed after scaling and root planing has been attempted but has not been successful in treating existing periodontal disease. Before beginning the procedure, the area will be numbed using local anesthesia. An incision is made in the gum tissue around the area that will be treated. The gum is then lifted away from the tooth and the underlying bone so that there is direct access to the area. The surface of the tooth is then thoroughly cleaned of any plaque or tartar buildup. Next, the surface of the bone will be smoothed. Bacteria that are trapped in the pockets around the tooth can destroy bone tissue, making it uneven and rough. In order to ensure proper healing, smoothing the bone of these rough surfaces is necessary.
Periodontal maintenance therapy is an ongoing program designed to prevent the progression of gum disease in the gum tissue and bone that supports the teeth. Periodontal maintenance is usually necessary for patients who have been diagnosed with and treated for periodontal disease. These visits are typically scheduled every three months and take the place of your biannual cleanings.