Healthy Gums & Healthy Smiles with Irvine Periodontics
Your gums are a vital part of your smile, and at Woodbridge Dentistry, we do all we can to keep your entire smile healthy and confident! Dr. Ann Nguyen works with our practice’s periodontist to provide first-rate services that protect, heal, and restore your gums.
Whether you need routine care to keep your gums healthy or advanced surgical care to rebuild your gum line, our office has the skill, experience, and innovative technology to meet your needs. Contact our Irvine office to get started today!
What is Periodontics?
Periodontics is the branch of dentistry that focuses on protecting your gums and treating gum health problems. While most people focus on their teeth, your gums are a vital part of your smile, and periodontal treatments help ensure that your teeth are supported by a strong and healthy foundation.
There are three main aspects to periodontics:
- Prevention – Keeping your gums healthy through routine care and managing health risks.
- Treatment – Targeted treatment designed to address the level of disease and eliminate infection.
- Maintenance – Protecting your gums after recovering from gum disease and striving to prevent relapse.
How Your Gums Affect Your Health
Your gums not only help to keep your teeth stable and protect tooth roots, but they are also intricately connected to your overall health. This dynamic is called the oral-systemic connection.
Gum disease, which is an infection that deteriorates the gums, can potentially spread through the bloodstream and cause secondary infections throughout the body. Likewise, certain health conditions in the body, such as diabetes or pregnancy-related hormone changes, can make gum disease more likely.
In some cases, early gum disease can act as a warning sign for undiagnosed health problems. This is one reason dentists pay close attention to your gum health and recommend swift treatment if health concerns are found.
Periodontic Treatments We Provide
At Woodbridge Dentistry, we know how important your gums are to your smile and overall health. Our office periodontist has specialized training and experience to provide the highest level of periodontal care and treatment to help protect, heal, and restore your gums.
Our periodontal services include:
- Professional Cleanings
- Scaling and Root Planing (Deep Cleanings)
- Pocket Reduction Surgery
- Gum and Soft Tissue Grafts
- Ridge Augmentation
- Sinus Lifts
- Gum Maintenance
9 Common Risk Factors for Gum Disease
Gum disease is most common in adults, but people of all ages have the potential to develop gum disease. The most important steps in preventing it are to practice good hygiene at home and visit the dentist at least every six months.
Certain habits or health conditions can increase your chances of developing gum disease. Be sure to discuss with Dr. Nguyen if any of these risk factors apply to you:
- You don’t brush or floss consistently.
- Your diet often includes sugary or acidic foods.
- You smoke or use tobacco products.
- You drink alcohol on a regular basis.
- You have chronic dry mouth.
- You take certain medications, such as blood pressure medicine.
- You deal with either type of diabetes.
- You are pregnant or trying to become pregnant.
- You’ve had gum disease in the past.
Treatment Options for Gum Disease in Irvine
The type of treatment you receive for your gum disease will depend on how advanced the infection has become. While it’s possible to reverse the disease in early stages, at a certain point, the damage can no longer be reversed. Treatment then becomes about repairing and restoring your gums and healthy smile, and doing all we can to prevent future infection.
These are the types of treatment we can provide to combat various stages of gum disease.
The cleanings you receive every six months are vital for keeping your gums healthy. We remove the troublesome plaque and tartar that irritates the gums, preventing them from becoming inflamed.
Scaling and Root Planing (Deep Cleanings)
When infection has already occurred, we use deep cleanings to halt the infection. First, an antibiotic is applied below the gum line. We then remove all tartar from beneath the gums with special tools, then smooth out the root surface (planing) to prevent bacteria from latching on and promote gum reattachment.
Pocket Reduction Surgery
If pockets form as the bacteria force gums away from the teeth, we can surgically close the pockets to make teeth more secure and stable.
Connective Tissue Grafts
At the latest stages, the gums may recede, exposing the tooth roots. We can use gum and soft tissue grafts to restore a healthy, natural gum line, protecting teeth and restoring your smile’s healthy aesthetic.
Bone can also shrink due to advanced gum disease, or when teeth are lost after gum disease. Ridge augmentation allows us to replace the bone along the jawline, creating a fuller appearance and a sturdy base for dental implants.
Like ridge augmentation, this involves adding bone along the upper jaw, creating greater bone density between the mouth and the upper sinus cavities. This is often essential for placing dental implants in the upper jaw.
How Lasers Can Improve Your Gum Treatment
We use lasers in our gum treatment to help improve your experience from start to finish. This innovative technology allows us to make gum surgery faster, more precise, and more comfortable for you. The precision and nature of laser application also helps to shorten your healing time.
Frenectomies in Periodontics
A frenectomy is a procedure used to correct tongue- or lip-ties, most often in infants or young children. As a specialist in gums and soft tissue, a periodontist is highly capable of providing this delicate treatment and ensuring that your child can eat, speak, and smile without complications.
Who Needs a Frenectomy?
Frenectomies are fairly common procedures in dentistry. Everyone has a small bit of tissue connecting their tongue to the floor of their mouth, and another connecting the upper lip to the gums. Sometimes, these connective tissues can be too short, limiting tongue or lip movement. This can cause problems for speech and eating, especially in breastfeeding infants.
Be sure to have your child assessed for a tongue-tie or lip-tie if you notice:
- Poor eating habits
- Difficulty with latching or breastfeeding
- Limited tongue or lip movement
- Difficulty and frustration when communicating
Helping Your Whole Smile at Woodbridge Dentistry!
Dr. Nguyen and her whole team love helping our Irvine patients smile with ease. Gum care is just one of the many services we provide to protect and transform your smile. Browse our site to learn more, or schedule your visit today!