Periodontics in Silver Spring, Md.
Taking good care of your oral health isn’t just about brushing your teeth — it is important to take good care of your gums, and even your jawbone, as well. Dr. Allen Gotora and the staff at Stellar Dental can help to make sure that you stay healthy, with treatments for gum disease and to help the jawbone!
What is gum disease?
- You may have gum disease if you notice these symptoms:
- Your gums are puffy, tender and red;
- You have a bad taste in your mouth that won’t go away;
- You see pus coming from between your teeth and gums;
- You have noticed a change in the way your teeth fit together when you bite down; or,
- Your gums bleed easily.
If you have any of these symptoms, you should call Stellar Dental right away!
Gum disease occurs when plaque is allowed to remain on teeth. Usually it can be removed with brushing and flossing, but if it is left on teeth it hardens into tartar. Tartar has to be removed with special tools by your dentist or hygienist. If tartar remains on teeth, bacteria begin to feast on and grow in the tartar. The bacteria accumulate in between the gums and teeth and begin to release toxins that break down both teeth and bone.
How can Dr. Gotora treat gum disease?
Dr. Gotora and the staff at Stellar Dental have many ways to make sure their patients’ gums stay healthy.
Scaling and planing
Scaling and planing are two different procedures with two different goals, but they are usually performed at the same time. Scaling is done to remove tartar from the surface of the teeth and it also cleans below the gum line, particularly the pockets that form in between the teeth and gums. Planing is a cleaning and smoothing down of the tooth root. A smooth tooth root makes it harder for bacteria to stick to the root.
The goal of gum disease treatment is to get rid of all of the bacteria on the teeth and gums. That’s why Dr. Gotora and the staff at Stellar Dental use Arestin during the scaling and planing procedure.
Arestin is an antibiotic. It comes in the form of tiny particles, which are filled with an antibiotic called minocycline hydrochloride. It is especially effective because it is placed right where the bacteria are, in the space between the gums and teeth. Once Arestin is placed, it dissolves on its own.
How can Dr. Gotora help the jawbone?
Ridge augmentation is used for patients who have a developmental defect, or who have had injury or trauma to the mouth. It is also used in patients with gum disease that has resulted in the loss of teeth. If you have lost teeth and don’t do anything to replace them, the jawbone eventually starts to break down. And when the jawbone deteriorates, it can be impossible for your dentist to place a restoration such as a dental implant.
A dental implant is a false tooth that looks and feels like a real, natural tooth. A strong jawbone is needed if a patient is to get a dental implant, because the false tooth is attached to a post that is surgically implanted into the jawbone.
A ridge augmentation procedure restores the structure of the jawbone. It involves lifting the gum to expose the weak area of the bone, and then filling in the area with a bone-like substance to help make the jaw strong again.
If jawbone is lost because of missing teeth, isn’t thick enough or is too soft and you need a dental implant, Dr. Gotora may recommend a bone graft.
In a bone graft, a piece of bone is removed from another part of the patient’s body — their hip or another part of the jaw, for example. This bone is placed where it is needed, and over time the graft encourages and stimulates new bone growth. This can take months. In some cases, the patient may only need minor bone grafting, and this can be done at the same time as the implant surgery.
Bone grafting isn’t just used for patients who need a dental implant, however. The procedure can benefit patients with many problems. It can be used to:
- Correct bone defects;
- Repair bone damage that was caused by the removal of a cyst or by gum disease;
- Build up the bone for greater denture support;
- Fix a cleft palate; or,
- Repair damage after a disfiguring disease.
If you have gum disease, or if your jawbone needs strengthening before an implant procedure, Dr. Gotora and the staff at Stellar Dental can help! Stellar Dental has two offices to serve you, one in Silver Spring and one in Hyattsville. Call (301) 754-1900 to make an appointment today!