Periodontal Dentistry is the dental specialty focusing exclusively on the inflammatory disease that destroys the bone, gums, and connective tissue around the teeth. A periodontist is a dentist who specializes in the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of periodontal or gum disease and in the placement of dental implants.
The word periodontal means “around the tooth.” Periodontal disease is a condition in which accumulations of bacteria known as plaque and tartar (calculus) have infected the gums and bone structures surrounding the teeth. Plaque is a slick, sticky film of food debris, bacteria, and saliva that forms on the teeth as you eat and drink through the day. Plaque calcifies and hardens into tartar when left in place for longer than twenty-four hours. Together, they actively destroy tooth, gum, and bone tissue. Periodontal disease, characterized by red, swollen, and bleeding gums, is so common that four out of five people actively. have the disease but remain unaware of it!
In fact, periodontal disease is so common that it is credited with being the number one cause of tooth loss. Additionally, current research suggests that the inflammation and bacteria associated with periodontal disease may contribute to other systemic diseases like stroke, bacterial pneumonia, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and increased risk during pregnancy. Fortunately, good oral hygiene, a balanced diet, and regular dental visits are easy ways to significantly reduce the risk of developing periodontal disease.
The following is a list of symptoms that suggest the presence of periodontal disease:
– Bleeding Gums: Healthy gums should not bleed, even when vigorously brushed or flossed.
– Loose Teeth: Bacterial infection often causes weakened periodontal fibers, the muscle tissues that bind teeth to the bone.
– New Spaces Between Teeth: These may be suggestive of advancing bone loss.
– Persistent Bad Breath: Often caused by an overgrowth of bacteria in the mouth.
– Tender or Receding Gums: Bacteria inflammation of the gums can eventually create a loss of gum tissue around the teeth.
– Pus on Teeth and Gums: Pus, or exudate, is a sign of severe bacterial infection.
Lasers are the latest revolutionary tool for dental treatment. Much like the air-driven drills changed dentistry in the 1950s, lasers are changing how we treat dental patients today. We can work cleaner, faster, and with less post-operative discomfort. Lasers are used for many procedures performed by the dentist and the hygienist. Lasers can be used for cutting, disinfecting, and for sensitivity reduction.
Laser Tissue Contouring:
Tissue contouring is performed with many procedures. Most commonly performed when preparing a tooth for a crown, removing excess tissue around the prepared tooth allows your dentist to obtain a perfect image or impression. This level of accuracy will ensure that your new crown is well fitted and that the tissue that rests against the new crown remains healthy. Your periodontist in San Diego may also do tissue contouring for cosmetic reasons. Sometimes the gum tissue can become overgrown. Puffy, inflamed tissue can be reduced using the laser, giving you an almost instant smile makeover.
Laser Bacterial Reduction:
When bacteria build up, our gums can become red, inflamed, and bloody when brushed. This is an indication of gingivitis or an infection in the gums. If left untreated, it can quickly develop into periodontal disease. Your dentist or dental hygienist can use the laser to destroy bacteria, disinfect the tissue, and promote healing.
As we get older, our gums can recede, exposing root surfaces that are very sensitive and porous. Using the laser, we can treat the area with highly concentrated fluoride and a low laser setting to help strengthen the structure and decrease sensitivity of the root surfaces.
Laser for Canker Sores:
Canker sores are caused by a naturally occurring virus. These canker sores can appear if the immune system is depressed or after a lengthy dental procedure. If treated in the first few days, the laser can diminish the healing time, the tenderness of the sore and promote healthy cell regeneration.
Specialty Periodontal Services
Dr. Gary M. Sigafoos has trained with some of the world’s most prominent periodontists. He is rapidly becoming known as a leading periodontist in San Diego for patients in need of periodontic dentistry.
At Scripps West Dental, Dr. Sigafoos often treats more problematic periodontal cases, such as those with severe gum disease or complex medical histories. He offers our patients a wide range of treatments to treat severe gum problems using a range of specialized surgical procedures. Dr. Sigafoos is also specially trained in the placement, maintenance, and repair of dental implants.
Dr. Sigafoos provides periodontal services to our patients including:
– Non-Surgical Treatments (scaling & root planing)
– Gum Graft Surgery
– Laser Treatment
– Regenerative Procedures
– Dental Crown Lengthening
– Dental Implants
– Sinus Lifts
– Pocket Reduction Procedures
– Plastic Surgery Procedures (crown lengthening, ridge augmentation)