Periodontal (gum) disease is often painless, and many patients are not aware that they have a problem until their gums and the supporting bone are seriously damaged. Signs of periodontal disease include but are not limited to: gums that easily bleed when brushing or flossing, gum inflammation (swollen, red, tender gums), gum recession, halitosis (bad breath), loose teeth, a visible pus surrounding the teeth and gums, and teeth that are overly sensitive to cold or hot temperatures. In fact, it has been reported that 1 in 2 adults have gum disease.
Dental plaque is the primary cause of gum disease - it is a sticky, colorless film of bacteria and sugars that constantly forms on our teeth. A variety of conditions can also affect gum health, including smoking, medical conditions like diabetes, medications, stress, clenching and grinding teeth habits, and poor nutrition. Daily flossing and brushing in addition to routine checkups and professional cleanings will prevent most periodontal disease conditions. If plaque is not removed through daily brushing and flossing, the plaque can turn into calculus (tartar) which becomes a rough and retentive surface encouraging further build up plaque. The bacteria from plaque can infect your gums and teeth, and eventually, the gum tissue and bone that support the teeth will be impacted, necessitating periodontal intervention. Dr. Cheng will thoroughly evaluate each individual's case and provide effective options for treatment of periodontal disease as well as procedures that can benefit restorative treatment to achieve a beautiful smile.
Scaling and Root Planing
Periodontal diseases often can be treated in the early stages with scaling and root planing. Scaling and root planing, also known as a "deep cleaning", is a non-surgical method of treating periodontal disease when gum pockets are deeper than normal, and removes the plaque and calculus that has accumulated below the gum line. A local anesthetic may be given to reduce any discomfort.
Gum Tissue Grafts
A gum tissue graft, also known has gingival grafts, may be necessary to protect teeth from the damaging effects of gum recession, but could also be an option to improve the appearance of an individual's smile. Gum recession is the process in which the tissue that surrounds the teeth pulls away from a tooth, exposing more of the tooth or the root of the tooth. over time, an exposed tooth root can not only look ugly, but can cause tooth sensitivity, especially when eating cold or hot foods. Eventually, gum recession, if left untreated, can potentially cause tooth loss.
Bone augmentation is a term that describes a variety of procedures used to "augment" or add bone so that dental implants can be placed. These procedures typically involve grafting (the addition) of bone or bonelike materials to the jaw. The most common use of bone grafting is in the application of dental implants to restore the edentulous area of a missing tooth. Dental implants require bones underneath them for support and proper integration into the mouth. If the jaw bone is too thin or soft to keep the implant in place or the bone cannot support the implant,the implant may fail.
Guided Bone Regeneration
Guided bone regeneration is a surgical procedure that uses barrier membranes to "guide", or direct the growth of new bone and gingival tissue at sites with insufficient amount or dimension of bone or gingiva (gums) for proper function, aesthetics or prosthetic restoration. Combined with bone grafts, guided bone regeneration is predominantly applied in the oral cavity to support new hard tissue growth on the jaw bones to allow stable placement of dental implants.
Crown lengthening is a surgical procedure that involves the removal of gum tissue, bone or both to expose more of a tooth to support a filling or crown. In addition to supporting a filling or crown, crown lengthening can improve the aesthetics of a person's smile. Some people have a lot of gum tissue around their teeth, what dentists call a "gummy smile." Crown lengthening removes the excess gum tissue around select teeth and can improve the appearance of teeth and the patient's smile by elongating the teeth.