When you think of periodontics, or gum specialists, you probably think of gingivitis or periodontal (gum) disease. Modern periodontics offers so much more though! Periodontics covers prevention (staying healthy), diagnosis (infection or pathology in the gums and jaw bones), regeneration (rebuilding lost bone and receding gums), and replacement of lost teeth with dental implants.
Dr. Charles Payet has always believed in the importance of periodontics. If you don’t have a solid foundation of healthy gums and bone, nothing else in your mouth can last. Strong jaw bones and healthy gums support your teeth, so they last your whole life. He’s pursued extensive periodontics training for over 2 decades, to ensure your smile is on solid ground.
Periodontics Affects Both Your Health & Smile
Do you know, that gum disease is responsible for more lost teeth than cavities? The infection slowly overwhelms your immune system, causing loose and drifting teeth, bad breath, bone loss, and abscesses. People often don’t understand the differences between gingivitis and periodontal disease though. That link has more details, but this is the Tl;dr version:
- Gingivitis: gingivitis is inflammation of the gums, caused by a build-up of plaque around the teeth. The plaque holds bacteria, which triggers your immune system. Plaque also physically irritates your gums. It can happen quickly, if you don’t regularly brush and floss.
- Periodontitis: periodontal disease isn’t just inflammation, but infection. Bacteria have built up in the plaque, tartar, and gum tissue, overwhelming your immune system. This leads to the gums detaching from the roots, bone breaking down, teeth getting loose and tender, and eventually tooth loss.
Gingivitis can be treated easily with a good cleaning by our hygienists, and improving how you care for your teeth and gums at home. Yes, that includes flossing! We also strongly recommend Sonicare electric toothbrushes and Water-Piks. Early and moderate gum disease can be treated with scaling and root planing, also called a ‘deep cleaning’. Moderate and severe cases of gum disease are best treated with LANAP Laser Gum Therapy. The LANAP protocol and Periolase laser are proven to stimulate bone regeneration, as well as healthy reattachment of the gums to the teeth!
Other Periodontal Health Issues
Receding gums are usually not because of periodontal disease though. They’re caused by other factors. These include inadequate attached gum tissue, brushing too hard, using a hard toothbrush, using abrasive toothpastes, and bruxism. Receding gums aren’t good for several reasons though. They expose tooth roots, which get cavities more easily (no enamel), and which are more sensitive to hot and cold foods and drinks. Gum recession also means that the bone underneath is shrinking. If you have gum recession, talk with Dr. Payet about gum grafting to protect your teeth and bone.
Do you have crowns, bridges, or porcelain veneers with bleeding gums around them, no matter how much your brush and floss? If so, their edges may be too close to your bone. When that happens, usually because the tooth broke, or a cavity went too deep, your immune system thinks the crown is a foreign object and tries to get rid of it. Since it can’t, it causes chronic inflammation, bleeding, and tenderness. Dr. Payet’s experience with both restorative dentistry and periodontics, allows him to correct the problem with a simple surgical procedure called Root Reshaping. If your crowns or veneers always have bleeding gums around them, ask Dr. Payet if he can correct it, so that inflammation goes away.
Periodontics and Your Smile
Receding gums make your teeth look too long and skinny. Some patients have the opposite problem of receding gums; they have excessive gum tissue, and sometimes excessive bone, covering their teeth. This makes the teeth look short and square; if you have this, you have what’s called a “gummy smile.” Instead of building up more gum tissue with soft-tissue grafting, you need Esthetic Crown-Lengthening, or a “Gum Lift.” Dr. Payet is one of the only Charlotte laser dentists to use the Lightwalker laser to gently sculpt away the excess gingiva and bone, making your teeth beautifully proportioned and healthy.
If you want a beautiful new smile with porcelain veneers, crowns, implants, or bridges, your gums must look balanced and symmetrical. If not, even the most beautiful porcelain veneers won’t make your smile look as good as it can. Thanks to Dr. Payet’s experience in both cosmetic dentistry and periodontal esthetics, there’s no need to coordinate your care with specialists. Dr. Payet and his experienced team provide everything you need in our convenient office.
Replacing Teeth with Dental Implants
Dr. Payet and his team always focus on helping keep your own teeth healthy and clean. If one or more teeth is lost though, you should consider dental implants. Advancements in periodontics make implants the best way to replace teeth. To replace one missing tooth, a dental implant and crown are ideal. For multiple teeth, you can choose an implant and crown per tooth, or you can choose implants and a dental bridge. For replacing all the teeth on the upper and/or lower jaws, you have quite a few options. Removable options include “snap-on” implant overdentures or bar-retained implant dentures. If you don’t want anything that comes out,
For more information on the many periodontal treatments Dr. Payet offers, follow the right link below: