February is Gum Disease Awareness Month. That means it’s as good a time as ever to pay extra attention to the foundation of your smile! Gum disease affects nearly half of all adults in the U.S., and it often goes undetected until it’s in its later, more destructive stages. In other words, gum disease can silently sabotage your smile if you let it.
Gum disease is an infection of the tissue surrounding your teeth. When food particles get caught between your teeth and under your gum line, they attract bacteria. The bacteria feed on the debris and cause your gums to swell, a condition known as gingivitis. Left alone, irritation can lead to infection, and your gum disease can worsen.
But there is some good news: It’s never too late to get your gum health back on track! And at Houston Uptown Dentists, it’s easy to comfortably eradicate infection and even repair damage from gum line recession! We’re proud to offer some of the latest techniques in gum disease treatment.
Read on for some of the ways our Houston, TX office provides patients with comfortable solutions that effectively manage and even cure gum disease. Then, get tough on gum disease! Call us at 832-463-1021 to schedule an appointment!
Deep Cleanings To Remove Plaque
Ideally, we want to prevent gum disease. But that’s not always possible. When we detect early signs of it, we often recommend a procedure called scaling and root planing. After numbing your gums, we’ll gently remove bacterial buildup from below the gum line.
Those are places where brushing and flossing can’t effectively reach. Then, we’ll smooth the roots of your teeth to discourage future bacterial buildup.
Perio Protect: A Minimally Invasive Way To Kill Bacteria
Advanced cases of gum disease are often marked by gum line recession, when your gum line pulls away from your teeth. In severe cases, the gum line recedes so far that it creates “pockets,” or gaps between the gum line and the teeth. Food particles can get trapped in these pockets and attract all sorts of nasty bacteria. This can put the exposed roots of your teeth at risk of decay.
To reduce these pockets and in some cases even reduce your risk of needing periodontal surgery, we offer Perio Protect®! This innovative gum disease solution allows you to comfortably and effectively apply medication into your periodontal pockets using a device that resembles a mouthguard or teeth whitening tray. You’ll simply squeeze medicated gel onto your tray, which is custom-made to fit your mouth and creates a seal against your teeth when you put it on. This prevents the medication from oozing out of the tray and into your mouth, allowing the medication to make its way to periodontal pockets.
How often you wear the tray depends on your individual case. But generally, you’ll simply wear it two to three times a day, for roughly 15 minutes at a time. Over time, the medication will eradicate the bacteria responsible for the infection. This allows you to enjoy a healthier smile!
LANAP: Laser-Assisted Dentistry For A Gentle But Thorough Cleaning
If your periodontal pockets haven’t responded to scaling and root cleaning and medication, we might recommend an even more intensive cleaning. At this point, other dentists might recommend a surgical treatment called osseous surgery. This procedure involves lifting the gum tissue away from the tooth and bone and then using a hand tool to clean those surfaces.
But at Houston Uptown Dentists, we’re able to perform this deep cleaning with a more comfortable alternative called LANAP®, or Laser-Assisted New Attachment Procedure. LANAP utilizes a state-of-the-art dental laser to gently remove infected tissue while leaving healthy tissue intact. We then go in and remove bacterial buildup from the roots of your teeth.
Since we thoroughly numb the affected area prior to the work, you’ll likely experience little to no discomfort during the procedure. In fact, you’ll most likely be able to go back to work or resume your normal everyday activities after we’re finished!
The ‘Pinhole’ Technique: Restore A Healthy Gum Line
In cases of severe infection, repairing the damage caused by gum recession is key to managing the disease in the long term. Traditionally, this has been achieved with gum grafts, which involve taking a small amount of healthy tissue and securing it over the receded gum line with sutures.
We do perform this treatment, but we also are qualified to offer a minimally invasive to gum grafting called the Chao Pinhole® Surgical Technique. There are no sutures or surgical cutting involved — just a dramatic transformation of your smile’s health and appearance in as little as an hour!
First, we create tiny “pinholes” in your gum tissue. Then, we carefully adjust the positioning of your gums to eliminate pockets. That’s it! This procedure is so gentle that many patients fully recover within 24 hours.
Get Tough On Gum Disease
If you suspect you have gum disease, or if it has simply been a while since you’ve had a dentist check out your gums, give us a call! Houston Uptown Dentists is proud to offer some of the latest techniques in gum disease treatment. We think you’ll love the results as much as you love the care you receive here!
Call us at 832-463-1021 to schedule a consultation, or use our online form to request an appointment.