There is a common misconception that losing teeth is simply a part of aging. Although it is unfortunately common, in most cases it is entirely avoidable. Why would people opt to lose their teeth? Often, they don’t even realize they have a problem until it’s too late. That is because the problem begins with the gums, not the teeth. Periodontal disease, also known as gum disease, is the most common cause of adult tooth loss in this country.
The key to preventing oral disease is to take care of your teeth and gums with good hygiene and regular dental care. If periodontal disease sets in, you are unlikely to notice it for a while. Although it can be treated at any stage, the damage is progressive. Early detection allows for conservative treatment options and a greater chance of saving your teeth. This is one of the reasons that routine checkups are essential; a dental professional will likely spot the early warning signs of disease long before you notice any symptoms.
Periodontal therapies include both surgical and nonsurgical treatment of the gums or other tissues and structures surrounding the teeth. They may be performed for treatment of periodontal disease, or for cosmetic or restorative reasons.
- Deep cleaning (scaling and root planing) – Plaque and tartar below the gum line are removed using precision tools and ultrasonic technology. The surface of the tooth root is then smoothed, making it more difficult for plaque to adhere.
- Gum graft – Recession of gum tissue can leave root surfaces exposed, making them vulnerable to decay. A grafting procedure restores the natural gum line, protecting the teeth.
- Laser treatment – This technology allows us to remove diseased tissue and stimulate healing without the use of a scalpel.
- Crown lengthening – A surgical procedure to expose tooth or bone structure that is covered by gum tissue may be needed in order to place a dental crown, or it may be performed for cosmetic reasons.
- Periodontal cosmetic surgery – You may not usually associate plastic surgery with gums. However, too much or too little gum tissue, or an uneven gum line, can have a dramatic impact of the appearance of your smile.
- Dental implants – If you’ve already lost your teeth to periodontal disease or other causes, dental implants are the solution. This is a natural looking and long-lasting solution that also preserves the health of the jawbone.
It’s never too soon, or too late, to start taking great care of your smile. Just call your Woburn partners in oral health at (781) 315-4456 and schedule an appointment.