The dentists at our Langley office focus on the prevention of periodontal diseases which are infections of the structures around the teeth, which include the gums, periodontal ligament and alveolar bone. In the earliest stage of periodontal disease — gingivitis — the infection affects the gums. In more severe forms of the disease, all of the tissues are involved.
Non-Surgical Periodontal Therapy
Non-surgical therapy removes plaque and calculus by controlling the growth of harmful bacteria and by treating conditions that encourage gum disease. This type of treatment may be all that's needed, especially when periodontal disease is caught early. You may also need to have certain procedures, such as replacing worn fillings or crowns with overhanging margins that can accumulate plaque, taken care of before periodontal therapy can begin.
Scaling & Root Planing
Scaling is a type of cleaning that removes plaque and calculus from the teeth at and slightly below the gumline. Root planing smooths root surfaces, so the supportive tissues can reattach to the tooth surface. Often, this will be done with local anesthesia so you can relax and feel nothing as we rehabilitate your gums.
Periodontal disease is a bacterial disease and the key to controlling or eliminating it is the effective reduction or elimination of the harmful bacteria. An adjunctive option to scaling and root planing may be provided in either pill form or applied directly to the infected area (gum pocket) in the form of antibiotic powder. An antibacterial mouth rinse also may be prescribed to help control the harmful effects of and reduce bacterial plaque.
An improper bite or a traumatic occlusion may increase bone destruction attached to such offending teeth. We may either choose to adjust your bite so that your teeth meet properly or construct a custom bite guard or splint- a removable device that fits over upper or lower teeth - to protect teeth surfaces and relax tense jaw muscles.
If you're diagnosed with periodontal disease, your periodontist may recommend periodontal surgery. Periodontal surgery is necessary when your periodontist determines that the tissue around your teeth is unhealthy and cannot be repaired with non-surgical treatment.
Pocket Depth Reduction
When supporting tissue and bone is destroyed, "pockets" form around the teeth.
Your bone and gum tissue should fit snugly around your teeth like a turtleneck around your neck. When you have periodontal disease, this supporting tissue and bone is destroyed, forming "pockets" around the teeth.
Over time, these pockets become deeper, providing a larger space for bacteria to live. As bacteria develop around the teeth, they can accumulate and advance under the gum tissue. These deep pockets collect even more bacteria, resulting in further bone and tissue loss. Eventually, if too much bone is lost, the teeth will need to be extracted.