Periodontics is the sector of dentistry that deals with gum (periodontal) health

In order to maintain optimal gum health and prevent periodontal disease, one must brush twice a day and never forget to floss daily. They should also be sure to visit their hygienist or periodontist routinely for a professional cleaning.

The Levels of Periodontal (Gum) Disease

When a person does not properly care for their gums, gum disease can quickly set in. The initial stage of gum disease is referred to as gingivitis.

Gingivitis explained

In this stage, the gums will bleed with brushing or flossing as they are inflamed and in an unhealthy state. Luckily, this early stage of gum disease can be reversed with thorough cleaning, and with proper changes to a daily oral hygiene routine. It's very important to remember to floss, in particular, to prevent gum disease.

The second and final phase of gum disease is referred to as periodontitis, and occurs after a substantial period of gum health neglect.

Periodontitis explained

In this advanced and final stage of gum disease, the gum tissue and possibly some bone are lost, and the teeth become at risk for becoming loose and eventually falling out. This is why early intervention of gum disease is critical. Learn more about periodontitis.

Have you been taking care of your gums?

The gums require a combination of proper daily care at home, as well as routine professional cleanings to stay healthy. You should be cleaning every surface of each tooth daily with brushing AND flossing to keep your gums happy and disease-free!

Types of treatments for gum disease

Open flap debridement

In some cases, there will still be deep gum pockets suffering from persistent inflammation following a deep periodontal cleaning procedure. Fortunately, through open flap debridement, these pockets can be thoroughly cleaned by the dental surgeon through exposing the gums to gain even better access to the areas experiencing inflammation.

This type of procedure is generally performed using a local anesthetic for patient comfort. The periodontist or dental surgeon will create an incision into the gums, exposing the roots and jaw bones for optimal access allowing for effective scaling and root planning. The inflamed tissue is then eliminated from the pockets, and the surfaces of the roots are thoroughly cleaned.

To complete this procedure, the gums are sutured back in place, with a recovery period to follow.

Gingival grafting

A gum grafting procedure involves restoring areas of lost or receded gum tissue, in order to protect and cover up the roots of the teeth that have become exposed.

Gingival grafting harvests the patient’s own oral tissue from other areas of the mouth, such as the roof of the mouth. The ultimate goal of this kind of periodontal surgery is to restore the gum tissue while preventing any further progression of gum recession and bone damage, and to protect the exposed tooth roots while also preventing root sensitivity that is a common result of this.

When a patient has too much gum: Crown lengthening explained

While severe gum disease generally leads to the gums receding and pulling away from the teeth, exposing more of the crown - a crown lengthening procedure is performed when the opposite is an issue: when a patient has too much gum tissue covering their enamel.

The procedure is common, and involves re-contouring gum tissue, and in some cases bone, in order to expose more area of a tooth’s surface.

Crown lengthening can also be used as a great cosmetic solution for patients with a “gummy smile”.

Schedule your cleaning or periodontal treatment with us today

Thornhill Smiles Dental would love to help you achieve optimal gum and smile health with a thorough cleaning, as well as any other form of periodontal treatment you may require.

Call us today to book your visit!