Got a little “pink in the sink”? We can help!
If you are experiencing chronic bad breath, receding gum lines, or bleeding and swollen gums, you are in need of a periodontal specialist. Gonzalez Dental Care — learn more below.
Why choose us for periodontal dental care?
- Decades of experience
- A patient-centered approach to dental care
- An unmatched reputation
- Financial assistance offered
- World-class staff and facilities
With almost half of all adults over the age of 30 suffering from some level of gum disease, it is now one of the more prevalent diseases in the United States and continues to be a serious issue nationwide. Ultimately leading to tooth loss, periodontal disease is known to cause bleeding and swollen gums, receding gum lines, chronic bad breath and shifting, loose teeth. These symptoms are caused by the buildup of plaque and tartar which encourages the growth of bacteria along and beneath the gum line. The good news regarding gum disease is that, if it’s caught and treated early enough, its symptoms can be halted and even eliminated.
Where brushing and flossing certainly have their place in routine oral health and gum disease prevention, professional cleanings are imperative to making sure that bacteria populations are eliminated from areas your toothbrush just can’t reach. Your Gonzalez Dental Care team can identify and treat the early stages of periodontal disease, keeping gingivitis from becoming more of a problem.
As experts in Periodontal Services, we can offer the following:
- Periodontal disease treatment
- Gum Grafting
If you’ve noticed a little “pink in the sink” while brushing your teeth, it’s time to see your Pembroke Pines dentist of choice. Don’t put off your exam and treatment. Schedule your appointment with Gonzalez Dental Care today!
What is the difference between a dentist and a periodontist?
A general dentist treats the teeth, gums, and other areas of the mouth. A periodontist only treats the gums and the bone supporting the teeth. Certain Doctors of Dental Surgery, such as Dr. Gonzalez, have extra training in periodontal issues giving them experience with soft tissues in the mouth. This enables Dr. Gonzalez to handle periodontal treatments such as gum grafting when necessary. Often a periodontist would be called in for more extreme cases of gum disease where the patient is losing teeth and jawbone mass.
What causes periodontal disease?
Unlike many diseases, which show no symptoms until the disease has already taken hold, gum disease tells you it’s occurring and getting worse from the onset. Plaque is really the root cause. This film forms on your teeth all day every day. It’s a combination of saliva, food particles, sugars, and bacteria. That’s what we remove when we brush and floss every day. But if we’re lackadaisical about our home hygiene, plaque is allowed to stay on the teeth and move up under the gum line. This causes the gums to become red and inflamed: this is gingivitis. If still not addressed, the plaque hardens into calculus (you know it as tartar), and this too moves under the gums. Now the gums begin to pull away from the teeth, forming pockets that are prime breeding grounds for bacteria to multiply. Now you’re in full-blown periodontitis, gum disease.
The shame is, most of this would never happen for most patients if they were more diligent with their home hygiene and if they kept their twice-yearly professional cleanings and exams with Dr. Gonzalez and our team.
What are the signs of gum disease?
As mentioned above, this isn’t as if yesterday your teeth were healthy, today you have gum disease kind of thing. There are signs. These are symptoms of different degrees/stages of gum disease:
- Gums that bleed when brushing your teeth
- Red, swollen, tender gums
- Persistent bad breath
- Bad taste in the mouth
- Receding gums
- Deep pockets between the teeth and the gums
- Loose or shifting teeth
- Changes in bite
What is gum grafting?
Gum grafting is the process of taking soft tissue, usually from the roof of the mouth, and placing it on areas where the gums have receded or thinned. This is necessary because when your gums are receding this exposes the roots of your teeth. Since the roots are not covered by enamel, as are the crowns (visible portion) of the teeth, decay can more easily develop. Plus, the lack of enamel also makes the exposed tooth roots very sensitive to hot and cold.
When does a person need gum grafting?
Gum grafting would typically be necessary if the patient has gum recession, and they are experiencing increasing hot and cold sensation in that tooth or teeth. Also, once the gums have receded to a degree they will not come back down. In these situations, Dr. Gonzalez would perform gum grafting to re-establish healthy gum coverage of the exposed roots.
What are all the treatments used to handle periodontal disease?
What Dr. Gonzalez will need to do depends on how far along your gum disease has progressed. In every case, the first step is to stop things where they are and keep the gum disease from progressing. First, the infection needs to be removed and the tooth roots prepared to begin the process of getting the gums to reattach.
Treatments can be both surgical and non-surgical. Dr. Gonzalez performs many of these procedures, but for more advanced cases, she’ll need to enlist the services of a periodontist.
Non-Surgical Periodontal Treatments:
- Root scaling and planing — This is basically removing plaque from below the gumline. Done under local anesthesia, a pick or a diode laser is used to break loose tartar that has moved up under the gums. This is called gum scaling. She then makes the surface smooth so that the gums can reattach. This is called gum scaling.
Surgical Periodontal Treatments:
- Flap surgery/pocket reduction surgery — In this procedure, the gums are lifted back, and tartar is removed. Dr. Gonzalez uses the diode laser to clean periodontal pockets, vaporizing infected tissue and disinfecting the area to activate tissue regrowth. The laser energy penetrates the soft tissues while instantly sealing blood vessels and nerve endings.
- Bone grafts — Bone grafts are used on areas of the jawbone that have deteriorated. The grafts are placed, and bone mass regrows, stabilizing the teeth.
- Soft tissue grafts — Tissue is usually taken from the roof of the mouth and stitched onto areas where the gums have receded or thinned.
- Bone surgery — In moderate to advanced jawbone loss, surgery is done to decrease craters that have formed. A periodontist would perform these surgeries.
Is gum disease reversible?
Gum disease can almost always be reversed. It’s a matter of reducing the pockets, removing the infection, restoring the bone (if necessary), and getting the gums to reattach to the teeth. Of course, how far the gum disease has progressed can dictate if reversal is possible. For instance, if a person has allowed the disease to progress to the point where all of his or her teeth are affected and cannot be saved, extraction may be necessary, and the teeth replaced by dentures or dental implants.
How can I keep my mouth healthy after gum disease treatment?
That depends on the procedures we had to perform. For instance, if Dr. Gonzalez performed root scaling and planing, this is a relatively simple procedure, and this doesn’t require any post-treatment care, other than better home hygiene moving forward. Other more involved procedures, such as soft tissue grafting or flap surgery, involve more attentive care during recovery to be sure to keep the infection from rebuilding.
We’ll explain what you need to do in detail after our periodontal disease treatments, as your involvement will be necessary if your mouth is to return to good health again.
What happens if I don’t treat my periodontal disease?
If you leave gum disease to its own devices in your mouth, your future is simple — tooth loss and the eventual need for full dentures. Gum disease, once the infection has taken hold under the gumline, will not get better. It won’t go away on its own. It requires aggressive action to stem the infection before it begins to create abscesses, attacks the connective tissue holding the teeth in place, and then begins to attack the jawbone.
This is not something to leave to chance.
Ready to Take the Next Step? Contact Us.
Find out more about any of these procedures and what is the best course of periodontal treatment for you by scheduling a patient consultation now. We promise our full attention and gentle, effective dental care at our Pembroke Pines dentist office.