Gum Disease Treatments in Indianapolis
Healthy gums are crucial to having a healthy smile and a healthy life. Keeping up with your regular preventive dental exams and maintaining good dental habits like brushing twice a day and flossing are not always enough to prevent gum problems. If you suffer from gum disease, you are at risk for serious dental issues that could jeopardize your oral health and lead to tooth loss. Our experienced periodontics and implantology team can help you recover your smile and your confidence.
At Central Indiana Periodontics, you can experience skilled and gentle care focused on your comfort. We are conveniently located on Rockville Road, two miles west from I-465, behind the Culvers. Call us today and schedule your appointment!
CALL US: (317) 299-4731 REQUEST APPOINTMENT
Early Diagnosis & Prevention are the Best Defense
At its earliest stages, gum disease can be treated before it advances to its more severe forms. The earlier you seek treatment for your periodontal issues, the better. The likelihood of more damage to your gums, teeth, and supporting structures increases as the disease progresses. The first signs of gum disease might seem innocent enough. You might feel some gum irritation or see a little blood as you rinse your mouth after brushing your teeth. This might easily be dismissed as brushing or flossing too aggressively. However, these are the early warning signs of gum disease that warrant a follow-up with our dentist for a periodontal examination. This examination is should always be included in a regular dental checkup.
Stages of Gum Disease
Gently using a periodontal probe, which is a small dental instrument, we will measure the pocket between teeth and gums, which should be three millimeters deep or less. There should be no bleeding caused by the insertion of the periodontal probe. We will note any bleeding, gum inflammation, pocket depth, or tooth mobility and use this information to determine the stage of gum disease and create your treatment plan. Gum disease is classified into three categories:
- Gingivitis – This is the first stage of gum disease. Accumulations of plaque and the bacteria it holds can irritate your gums, make them inflamed and tender, and cause bleeding.
- Periodontitis – This is the second stage of gum disease as plaque builds up and hardens into tartar, and the gums begin to recede from teeth. Deeper pockets will form between the teeth and gums and fill with bacteria. Irritation and inflammation of the gums will continue to worsen, along with bleeding. Bone loss may begin to appear at a slight to moderate level.
- Advanced periodontitis – As untreated periodontitis increases in severity, the gums, periodontal ligament, and bone will continue to be damaged. Affected teeth can become loose, and moderate to severe bone loss may be evident.
The Goal of Gum Disease Treatment
The primary goal of gum disease treatment with Central Indiana Periodontics is to protect your natural teeth by keeping supporting structures healthy. Dr. Gomes specializes in the treatment of gum disease and works to preserve, improve, and maintain the health of your gums.
Diseased gums can cause discomfort and pain. Gum disease treatments are designed to improve your periodontal health and maintain your comfort. Our skilled services protect and restore the natural function of your gums and supporting structures, including:
- Periodontal ligaments that attach to your teeth to the surrounding alveolar bone. These fibers form a strong bond to connect the cementum of the teeth roots to the bone.
- Cementum is a calcified connective tissue like bone, which covers the dentin within the teeth roots. It attaches the teeth to the alveolar bone and anchors periodontal ligament fibers and gingivae. This substance can also be found on the crowns of the teeth.
- Alveolar bone is the part of your jawbone that holds the teeth. The alveolar bone proper is the section of this bone that comes in contact with the roots of the teeth.
The type and extent of gum disease treatments will depend upon the stage of the disease and the amount of damage that has already been caused to the gums and the supporting structures.
Professional Gum Disease Services
Seeking treatment for gum disease at its earliest stages is always the best way to prevent it from progressing. At its earliest stages, before damage has occurred, it may be possible to stop gingivitis within one or more regular professional cleanings. Our gentle and experienced team can give you advice on how to improve your daily oral hygiene habits and schedule your regular cleanings to prevent the disease from advancing. However, if gingivitis has progressed to a more severe form of gum disease, additional treatments are often required to stop its progression and address the damage it has caused.
We can improve gum health with a deep cleaning called scaling and root planing. The scaling part of the treatment is where we remove plaque, tartar, and toxins from above and below the gum line. The root planing part of the treatment involves removing spots and smoothing out the root surfaces on the teeth. This procedure is done to help gum tissue heal and reattach, and to shrink pockets.
When damage to the cementum has occurred on the roots of one or more teeth, treatment will be needed to protect the roots. This can be done with the application of tissue-stimulating proteins that will help stimulate the growth of cementum and replace what was lost from gum disease.
The FDA has deemed the use of lasers safe for treating dental and periodontal issues since the 1990s. Instead of invasive surgery, laser technology can be used for procedures such as removing plaque, tartar, and infections below the gum line. Lasers can also be used to contour the gum line to even out the appearance of the gums. Lasers use focused light to remove and cauterize tissue at the same time, reducing pain, bleeding, and healing time.
While it might be considered an elective procedure, periodontal cosmetic surgery can improve the look of your smile by improving the appearance of your gums. Receding gums can make the teeth look longer, and excessive tissue can create a “gummy smile.” Both conditions can benefit from the contouring of the gumline. We use advanced laser technology or surgical grafting to improve the appearance of your gumline and restore your smile.
In cases of severe gum disease or when root scaling and planing has failed to stimulate pocket shrinkage, a pocket reduction procedure may be needed. The goal of this treatment is to reduce the depth of the pockets in the gums and stop the accumulation of bacteria. The treatment is performed under local anesthesia and includes deep cleaning. We apply an antimicrobial agent to kill any lingering bacteria. Pocket reduction surgery is useful for stopping tissue loss and allowing gums to heal naturally.
When gum disease has damaged the jawbone and made it weak, a bone graft may be needed to promote natural bone regeneration. This is done to prepare the area for a dental implant or other restorative procedure that requires the support of a healthy jawbone. Bone grafting material obtained from another part of the body, or from an artificial source, is inserted in the jawbone and packed tightly. Then it will be covered with a membrane to maintain the shape of the growth. Proteins and a platelet-rich growth factor are also added to stimulate bone growth.
A sinus lift also referred to as a sinus augmentation, is often required before placing a dental implant. It is usually performed to raise the sinus floor and allow room for new bone formation that will help improve the success of the implant.
What is Gum Grafting, and How Can it Help?
Gum grafting is a standard surgical periodontal procedure that is used to repair the damaged caused by disease or trauma. Its primary purpose is to cover an exposed surface of a tooth, mainly the roots. A gum graft provides both therapeutic and cosmetic restoration. Tooth sensitivity from exposed roots can cause extreme sensitivity, and a gum graft permanently covers the area, reduces discomfort, and restores the health of the gum.
Receding gums and root exposure can make your teeth appear longer, and your smile toothy. Gum grafting can make your teeth look shorter for a more aesthetically-pleasing smile. A gum graft can also help prevent further tissue and bone loss and stop the further decay of exposed roots.
What Does Gum Grafting Treatment Involve?
When we recommend gum grafting surgery, you may first need to have a thorough cleaning above and below the gum line to remove all tartar and bacteria. After that, there are three common types of gum grafting performed in our office:
- Free gingival graft where a layer of tissue is removed from your palate and attached to the receding gum area.
- A subepithelial connective tissue graft is commonly done to cover exposed roots. The tissue is painlessly removed from the outer layer of your palate and attached to the recessed area.
- Acellular dermal matrix allograft involves using donated human tissue that has been medically processed as the source for the gum graft. This eliminates the need to obtain tissue from your palate.
At Central Indiana Periodontics, Your Comfort is Always Our Top Priority
We stay current on the latest gum disease treatment techniques for your benefit and comfort, including laser treatment technologies. We solve problems by finding solutions for even the most complex cases. Before resorting to surgery, we focus on non-invasive techniques, such as thorough and consistent treatment with lasers.
To ensure your comfort, we offer sedation for anxiety during your gum treatment procedures. This includes nitrous, oral sedation, and IV sedation. We are experienced in treating and retreating patients who may have already undergone surgery to help make the procedure as gentle as possible and to promote a faster recovery. Contact our friendly and expert team today and schedule a consultation so we can help you love your smile again.
CALL US: (317) 299-4731 REQUEST APPOINTMENT