Education

Oral Hygiene

Daily preventive care, including proper brushing and flossing, fluoride and a balanced diet will help keep your smile healthy and beautiful.

Practicing good oral hygiene means:

  • Your teeth are clean and free of debris
  • Gums are pink and do not hurt or bleed when you brush or floss
  • Bad breath is rare occurrence

To maintain good oral hygiene

  • Brush twice a day
  • Floss before brushing
  • Use an antiseptic mouthwash
  • Maintain a healthy diet
  • Stay away from tobacco products
  • Gingivitis is the most common periodontal disease. It’s usually easy to combat but untreated gingivitis can progress to periodontitis. Periodontitis is more serious and can eventually lead to loss of teeth and bone.

    CAUSES
    The most common cause of gingivitis is the accumulation of bacterial plaque around the teeth. The plaque triggers an immune response which can impact the gum tissue. When plaque is not removed, it can harden into calculus, or tartar, at the base of the teeth, near the gums. This has a yellow color. Calculus can only be removed professionally. Plaque and tartar eventually irritate the gums, causing gum inflammation around the base of the teeth. This means that the gums might easily bleed.

    SYMPTOMS

    • Bright red or purple gums
    • Tender gums that may be painful to the touch
    • Bleeding from the gums when brushing or flossing
    • Bad breath
    • Swollen gums
    • Receding gums
    • Soft gums

    TREATMENT
    Treatment involves care by a professional. Then follow-up procedures carried out by the patient at home—such as proper oral hygiene and antiseptic mouthwash.

  • Tooth loss is common in children but very concerning in adults.

    CAUSES

    • Poor Oral Hygiene
    • Gum Disease
    • Smoking and Tobacco Use
    • Drug Use
    • Poor Diet
    • Injury
    • Hypodontia

    TREATMENT
    There are a few options to replace missing teeth.

    The most permanent treatments are dental implants and bridges.

    Dentures and dental bridges are typically the best non-surgical treatment option. Bridges are permanently attached to dental crowns to close the gaps left by missing teeth, while dentures are removable restorations that replace missing teeth.

  • Bleeding gums are typically caused by inadequate plaque removal. Plaque contains germs which attack the healthy tissue around the teeth. This will cause the gums to become inflamed and irritated, which may cause them to bleed when brushing or flossing.

    This is called Gingivitis and is the first stage of gum disease.

    CAUSES
    The main cause is plaque build-up. However, there are a few other factors that can contribute to bleeding gums.

    • Age
    • Medication
    • Poor oral hygiene
    • Poor nutrition
    • Clenching or grinding teeth
    • Tobacco use

    TREATMENT
    The best treatment is prevention by brushing and flossing at least twice a day. Once gingivitis has set in treatment involves care by a professional.
    Then follow-up procedures carried out by the patient at home—such as proper oral hygiene and antiseptic mouthwash.

  • When underlying issues – such as gingivitis– progresses to a full blown periodontal disease, the impacts can lead to bone loss.

    CAUSES
    Bone Loss is the result of untreated periodontal disease.

    Your teeth fit into their sockets and bones without wiggle room. The point where your gums meet your teeth creates a tiny dip, known as a gingival sulcus. As disease progresses, your gums pull away from your teeth. Plaque fills the gingival sulcus creating an array of problems.

    As bacteria reach teeth roots and your jawbone, released bacterial toxins wear away at the bone tissue, which is no longer protected by healthy gums. Effects may include tooth loss, bone craters, or severe bone deterioration.

    TREATMENT
    Fixing Bone Loss begins with addressing periodontal disease and clearing up the infection. Then the infected areas must all be gently cleaned through a process called root planing and scaling.

    Then further treatment can be completed and may include:

    • Pocket reduction, a surgical procedure that resets your gums against your teeth
    • Tooth removal and replacement for loose teeth
    • Bone reshaping, which includes smoothing a bone with dips to remove potential hiding spots for bacteria
    • Bone regeneration, a surgical procedure in which our periodontists perform bone grafting with natural or synthetic bone.
  • Gingival recession, or gum recession, is what happens when gum tissue is recessed and lowers its position on the tooth, exposing the roots of the teeth.

    CAUSES

    • Bacterial disease
    • Overly aggressive brushing
    • Genetics
    • Abnormal tooth positioning
    • Grinding teeth
    • Injury
    • Poor oral hygiene

    SYMPTOMS

    • Teeth sensitivity
    • Extended tooth appearance
    • The tooth is a different color nearer the gum line

    TREATMENT
    Gum recession treatment greatly depends on the underlying cause. It starts by addressing any bacterial imbalance, removing plaque and tartar build-up and then treating the infection. Once gum tissue is healthy again further treatment may include:

    • Soft tissue grafting
    • Pocket reduction surgery
  • Pocket formation is a serious effect of periodontitis. Pocket formation means the supporting tissue surrounding your teeth has become diseased and needs treatment.

    It often starts as gingivitis or receding gums, but left untreated a space develops between your teeth and gum tissue. Because a healthy mouth includes flush contact between your gums and teeth with only a slight dip at the point of contact– this space creates an environment well-suited to bacterial growth and pocket formation.

    Pocket formation is the development of small pockets of space between your gums and teeth as your gum line recedes. This can result in tooth loss, bone loss and infection.

    TREATMENT
    The first course of action is clearing up the infection by cleaning away accumulated plaque, tartar, and bacterial growth. Antibiotics may also be prescribed to clear up an infection. A full work up of X-rays and/or CT scans will be done to determine the full severity of the infection and damage.

    Pocket surgery is also a possibility. This is when the excess gum and bone is removed and reshaped to vastly improve your oral health.

  • Periodontal symptoms should not be ignored because the early signs of gum disease are relatively easy to treat.

    Once gum disease advances to the advanced periodontitis stage, it is much harder to get under control. You may experience side effects such as loose teeth, gum tissue loss, and even tooth loss. If you notice any periodontal disease symptoms such as bleeding gums, gum recession, bad breath, or loose teeth, make an appointment with one of our doctors right away.

    BLEEDING GUMS
    Bleeding gums are one of the most common side effects of gum disease and can be triggered by hormonal changes, improper brushing or flossing technique, or even when eating certain foods. If you have sore and painful gums that bleed easily, you may have periodontal disease.

    GUM RECESSION
    An active infection in the mouth can make the gum tissue wear away and expose more of the tooth structure. This makes the teeth more sensitive and you may feel a small notch forming around the gum line. Gum recession is best treated with a gum grafting procedure, or minimally-invasive gingival grafting techniques such as micro-surgery or the Pinhole Surgical Technique (PST™).

    BAD BREATH
    Chronic bad breath isn’t just a side effect of the foods you eat or poor oral hygiene habits. It can also be the result of an infection in the mouth and can be difficult to mask with mouthwash or fresh breath sprays. Excessive plaque buildup around the teeth is a haven for bacteria which can create toxins in the mouth. You may have very noticeable bad breath when you have an active infection in the mouth.

    LOOSE TEETH
    If you notice any of your teeth are becoming loose or are shifting slowly, you may have a weak tooth structure and some degree of bone loss because of gum disease. Loose teeth can affect your speech and ability to chew properly.

  • If you have gum disease or have suffered some of the effects of periodontal disease, such as gum recession or bone loss, you may need to undergo periodontal therapy to restore your oral health.

    We can customize a treatment plan that includes procedures such as bone grafting, sinus augmentation, periodontal maintenance, and crown lengthening procedures.

    BONE GRAFTING
    This procedure is performed when there is significant bone loss after a tooth has been missing for some time. We may recommend a bone graft before dental implant placement for optimal results.

    GINGEVECTOMY
    This procedure reshapes and removes loose gum tissue after gum disease. It may also be performed when there is gum tissue overgrowth or when the gums have not responded positively to scaling and root planing therapy.

    GUM GRAFTING
    If you have an excessive amount of gum recession around a single tooth or several teeth, you may need a gum graft to restore the gum line. We can perform connective tissue grafts, free gingival grafts, and pedicle grafts when treating gum recession.

    OSSEOUS SURGERY/FLAP SURGERY
    This is ideal for patients who have moderate or advanced periodontal disease. It may be necessary when scaling and root planing therapy has not resolved the problem. Osseous surgery decreases pocket depth and stops an infection in the mouth.

    PERIODONTAL MAINTENANCE
    This is a series of treatments such as deep cleanings and maintenance visits to ensure your mouth is free of any infection after gum disease.

    RIDGE AUGMENTATION
    If the bone in the jaw has started to deteriorate after tooth loss, you may need to undergo a ridge augmentation procedure to restore the gum’s natural contours.

    RIDGE PRESERVATION
    This procedure preserves bone tissue after you lose a tooth and ensures the bone and soft tissue do not collapse into the sockets. It is a minimally-invasive procedure that helps to preserve your smile.

    SCALING AND ROOT PLANING
    This treatment is necessary during the early stages of gum disease and can help to reduce pocket depth by a few millimeters. It is performed using an ultrasonic tool to remove plaque and calculus and includes a deep cleaning process.

    SINUS AUGMENTATION/SINUS LIFT
    If you have missing teeth in the upper premolar or molar areas of the jaw, you may need a sinus lift or sinus augmentation procedure before you can get dental implants.

    CROWN LENGTHENING
    Periodontal plastic surgery procedures such as esthetic crown lengthening and functional crown lengthening may be necessary for treating a damaged gum line. We can reshape or remove excess gum tissue to create a beautiful smile.