Periodontics San Francisco, CA
Treat periodontal (gum) disease and decay.
There are several ways to treat periodontal (gum) disease. Periodontal disease is an infection of the gums and/or surrounding soft tissue. Caused by a buildup of bacteria, the best way to prevent such infections is to practice good brushing, flossing, and nutrition every day.
Beginning in small crevices where the tooth meets the gum, the infection can appear as only minor swelling or bleeding. As the infection progresses, however, it moves deeper below the gum line where it forms large pockets of bacteria in and around the roots of the tooth. Left untreated the disease will decay the bone around the tooth and jaw, which may require a surgical procedure.
It is important to do everything possible to keep the disease from progressing with the treatment of one or more of the following:
Treat repeated periodontal flare ups.
Many people experience repeated infection of their gums due to periodontal disease and enlarged pockets around the teeth. When repeated periodontal flare ups continue to occur our office provides periodontal maintenance. Patients who require a more diligent oral hygiene routine are scheduled for more frequent dental cleaning appointments. This is important because the severity of damage caused by periodontal infection increases exponentially as it progresses. Each patient is evaluated so a customized schedule can be maintained to avoid major damage to teeth and gums and support overall general health.
Typically a deep cleaning (root debridement) is preformed to remove infection below the gum line. Our office will take measurements of pocket depth around your teeth, and perform scaling and root debridement to reduce buildup on teeth and prevent future infections. If you are experiencing painful, swollen, or bleeding gums, contact our office.
Rise away infection and debris from healthy gums.
To ensure good oral health our office offers ultrasonic tooth cleaning technology to accompany dental oral hygiene cleaning, scaling and root debridement. This equipment is basically a tooth scaler with a special tip that provides water vibrated at a high rate to flush out bacteria below the gum line. It rinses away infection and debris from healthy gums. The tip glides over the tooth surface and is much more effective at removing hard buildup and calcium deposits than hand scaling alone can accomplish. It smoothes out bumps and divots on the tooth surface which creates an environment that prevents calculus/tartar buildup.
A preventative measure against periodontal infections.
There are preventive measures against periodontal infections. One method implemented in response to repeated infection its called crown lengthening. The procedure is an effective option for those patients who have excessive gum tissue which covers a large portion of the tooth. Patients who have extra gum tissue often have problems maintaining their oral health. The excess tissue causes tight spaces between teeth where food can be trapped—breeding bacteria and infection. The procedure is quite simple. The patient is sedated then the excess gum tissue is surgically removed. Then the trimmed tissue is shaped to create a symmetrical gum line with significantly less space, making it resistant to infection.
Periodontal laser treatment penetrates the gums to kill the infection.
Periodontal disease is a bacterial infection of the gums. This infection starts with plaque buildup and food particles left on the teeth by improper oral hygiene (brushing and flossing). While the disease may start as a relatively minor irritation, these infections can quickly become more serious deteriorating the gums and other supporting tissue around your teeth. It is also widely known that periodontal disease has serious consequences for your overall general health. Gum disease contributes to such health risks as heart disease, stroke, low birth-weight babies, cancer and is even linked to Alzheimer’s disease. For this reason, it is vitally important to prevent these infections. The best way to prevent gum disease is to schedule regular dental cleanings and examinations.
When periodontal infections progress to advanced stages, they cannot be treated with regular oral hygiene appointments. In these cases, the gums must have the infection removed with more advanced periodontal treatment.
New technology using laser therapy is now available. During this procedure, a special laser is used to penetrate the gums and kill the infection. Laser therapy has a dramatically reduced pain and the healing period since there is no physical surgery on the gum tissue.
All Periodontic Services
Scaling & Root Planing
Remove excess calculus/tartar, plaque and bacteria with a deep cleaning.
When you have a dental tooth cleaning our hygienists evaluate your periodontal health. When a diagnosis of periodontal disease is noted sometimes it calls for a further treatment called scaling and root debridement. This procedure is a deep cleaning done to remove excess calculus/tartar, plaque, and bacteria that have formed on the teeth and below the gum line.
The hygienist may use an ultrasonic scaler, periodontal hand scalers, or curettes to carefully removes all deposits on the visible surface of the tooth and below the gum line. Most appointments require a mild anesthetic to help relieve patient discomfort or stress. This procedure helps smooth the affected areas of disease, tighten gum tissue and prevent build up on teeth in the future.
Reduce the excess pocket tissue to clean out existing gum infections.
When patients suffer from periodontal disease they develop gum tissue pockets that cause the gums to detach from the teeth. Periodontal pockets trap bacteria that infects the gums and may cause tooth decay or loss.
A pocket reduction is designed to remove the areas where bacteria collect. When the supportive gum tissue around the teeth becomes loose, forming pockets of infection around the base of the teeth, a pocket reduction procedure can be performed. This procedure reduces the excess pocket tissue to clean out the existing infections and prevent the collection of more harmful bacteria. After the pockets are reduced we then suture the gums so they fit more tightly around the teeth. This procedure can provide excellent results and decreased the occurrence of periodontal infection.
Fix receding gum tissue with guided bone and tissue regeneration.
Normally there is a healthy layer of keratinized gum surrounding each tooth which protects it from infection, decay, and discomfort. The recession of gum tissue due to aging or inadequate oral hygiene can leave teeth roots exposed and vulnerable to decay. As this gum tissue recedes the bone beneath it will also experience resorption (a melting away), or degeneration, which compromises the basic strength of the jawbone.
To perform regeneration, the gums in the affected area are first surgically opened to expose the receding bone. Then a small piece of barrier membrane is attached to the affected area, which encourages new bone growth. The new bone growth provides benefits such as increased structural support for restorations, prevention of further bone resorption, and overall increased strength of the jaw bone.
Minimally invasive dentistry with Perio Protect®.
Perio Protect®, a non-surgical treatment for periodontal (gum) disease and gingivitis.
Perio Protect® has been a leader in minimally invasive dentistry for the last nine years with a new method that offers people the most gentle, yet effective way possible to fight the bacteria that cause gum disease. Tens of thousands of dental professionals have attended Perio Protect seminars to learn this new approach and the end result is… patients win. You may not know it, but studies show that 8 out of 10 adults in the U.S. have some form of gum disease. This disease is known as the “hidden disease” or, as former Surgeon General, David Satcher referred to it, “the silent epidemic.” It is hard to see the bacteria and the problems they cause hidden below your gums, but the problems can be serious. People who have avoided treatment in the past are changing the way they see their dentists with the Perio Protect Method®.
What is Perio Protect®?
Previously, patients with gum disease could expect to lose their teeth at an early age. Surgical treatments were developed and are still used to prevent tooth loss, but bacterial infections of the gum tissues are not always able to be stopped. Today, dentists can have much better success rates if there is early treatment, which can also have an advantage for the patient of being non-surgical.
Now we offer Perio Protect®. This medication is used with a special mouthpiece filled with an antibiotic cleansing solution and placed over the teeth. The mouthpiece holds the solution so it stays in contact with the areas where teeth meet gums, allowing for maximum penetration to the infection. After your first in-office treatment you will be given at-home care instructions.
Is Perio Protect® right for me?
While your doctor should determine the most appropriate care for your conditions, it is important to manage oral biofilm (oral bacterial communities) daily because bacteria are constantly introduced into the mouth. The goal of the Perio Protect Method™ is to promote lasting oral health without requiring repetitive invasive procedures.
Brushing and flossing continue to be important, but even with standard home care, 80% of Americans have some form of gum disease and need more help. Gum disease has been linked to serious systemic illnesses. Treatment is important.
Additional external resources