Periodontal Care

Periodontal care is a field of dental service that focuses on the health of the gums and tissues that support the teeth. This type of focus is important for preventing or treating gum disease and for keeping the teeth and gums healthy. Periodontal care can include deep cleanings, gum grafts, and other measures taken to protect the smile from ailments that may cause gum and tissue damage.

At Spektor Dental in Bellevue, WA, we offer comprehensive periodontal care to ensure the continued health and preservation of our patients’ smiles. We understand the importance of oral health and are dedicated to providing the highest quality care possible. Our experienced team of dental professionals will work with you to create a treatment plan that meets the needs of your gum and tissue health.

If you are concerned about the health of your gums, please call us today to schedule an appointment. We will be happy to answer any questions you may have and help you maintain a healthy smile!

If you are concerned about the health of your gums, please call us today to schedule an appointment. We will be happy to answer any questions you may have and help you maintain a healthy smile!

Mouth/Body Connection

It is becoming increasingly apparent that oral health plays an important role in the health of the entire body. Poor oral health has been linked to a number of degenerative conditions, such as heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. In fact, some research even suggests that poor oral health may contribute to Alzheimer’s disease, which is linked to a bacterial imbalance in the gum tissue. While the exact underlying causes are not yet fully understood, it is thought that the bacteria that cause gum disease may enter the bloodstream and contribute to the development of these conditions. Additionally, tissue inflammation associated with gum disease is thought to play a role.

While more research is needed to confirm these links, it is clear that taking care of your mouth is an important part of overall health. Good oral hygiene habits, such as brushing your teeth twice a day and flossing daily, can help to reduce the risk of these conditions. In addition, regular dental checkups and cleanings can also help to keep your mouth healthy.

Periodontal Disease

Periodontal disease is a serious gum infection that can damage the soft tissue and bone supporting your teeth. If left untreated, periodontal disease can lead to tooth loss. The disease is caused by plaque, a sticky film of food debris, bacteria, and saliva that forms on your teeth. If plaque is not removed, it can harden and turn into tartar. Once tartar forms, it can only be removed by special tools that we use during a professional cleaning.

  • Plaque and tartar will continue to build up along the gum line if the teeth are not cleaned regularly. This can cause the gums to become irritated and inflamed, pulling away from the tooth structure. This is a condition known as gingivitis. Gingivitis is the early stage of periodontal disease and can usually be reversed with good oral hygiene and regular professional cleanings. 
  • If gingivitis is not treated, it can progress to periodontitis. This is a more serious form of gum disease that can destroy the bone and other tissues supporting your teeth. As the gums continue to pull away from the teeth, plaque and tartar will begin to gather in the pockets formed below the gum line. Over time, this gathered bacteria will begin to eat away at the bone, causing permanent damage. 
  • Advanced periodontitis is the last stage of gum disease. This is the most severe form of the condition and is characterized by extensive bone loss. At this stage, patients may notice pain, loose teeth, pus formation along the gum line, and foul breath. If left untreated, then tooth loss is common. 

If you think you may have periodontal disease, it is important to visit our office right away. We will be able to evaluate the severity of your condition and recommend the best course of treatment. With early diagnosis and treatment, we can often stop the progression of periodontal disease and help you keep your natural teeth for a lifetime.

Periodontal Therapy

Periodontal therapy is a type of dental treatment that is used to prevent or slow down the progression of periodontal disease. It can also help to improve the overall health of your teeth and gums. Periodontal therapy can be performed in a number of different ways, depending on the severity of the disease. While the early stages of gum disease may be resolved through routine dental cleaning, once the disease progresses, we may recommend a deep cleaning procedure. 

Deep cleanings are a bit more in-depth than standard cleanings, as we turn our focus to cleaning the areas both above and below the gum line. This procedure is formally referred to as scaling and root planing. 

  • Scaling is the process of removing tartar from the teeth and gum pockets using specialized cleaning tools.  
  • Root planing is the process of smoothing out the root surfaces to prevent tartar buildup in the future. 

This procedure helps to restore gum health, close gum pockets, and allow gums to reattach to the teeth.

Periodontal Maintenance Cleanings

Periodontal maintenance cleanings are deep cleanings that are performed on a routine basis to prevent the progression of gum disease. Once the condition reaches its later stages, this regular maintenance is essential in maintaining oral health. At each appointment, the cleanings help to remove the recurring plaque and tartar from the teeth and prevent the disease from worsening; leading the disease unmanaged may lead to infection or tooth loss.

Periodontal maintenance cleanings are usually done every three months, but they may be done more often if found necessary.

Crown Lengthening

Crown lengthening involves the removal of excess gum tissue and bone from around one or more teeth. There are a number of reasons why we may recommend this procedure during your dental appointment. Crown lengthening can be used to improve the appearance of your smile, to make it easier to clean your teeth, or to prepare your teeth for a dental restoration.

  • When any excessive gum tissue is removed, it can help to expose more of the tooth, which can give the appearance of longer or larger teeth. This can greatly enhance the appearance of the smile.
  • Crown lengthening can also help to reduce the risk of gum disease. Oftentimes, patients with excessive gum tissue find it difficult to remove food debris and bacterial accumulation from under and around the gums. Limiting the space for bacteria to grow and gather can improve oral health. 
  • In some cases, crown lengthening may also be used to prepare your teeth for a dental restoration; this will ensure that your new crown or filling will blend well with the tooth and complement the smile.

Gum Grafts

A gum graft is a dental procedure in which we carefully remove healthy gum tissue from another area of your mouth and use it to cover exposed roots or to build up your gums in areas of recession. Gum recession can cause temperature sensitivity, pain, and even loose teeth or tooth loss. A gum graft can help to protect your teeth and improve the aesthetics of your smile.

  • The first step in a gum graft procedure is to numb the treatment area with local anesthesia. 
  • We will then make a small incision in your gums and gently remove a strip of tissue. 
  • This tissue will then be used to cover the exposed roots or to build up your gums in the areas of recession. 

After your gum graft procedure, you may experience some swelling and discomfort. We will give you specific instructions on how to care for your gums as they heal. Most patients recover quickly and are fully healed from the procedure within one or two weeks.

Oral Appliance Therapy

Oral appliance therapy is a form of treatment for obstructive sleep apnea that involves wearing a mouthguard during sleep. The appliance holds the jaw in a forward position, keeping the airway open and preventing snoring or episodes of paused breathing. 

Oral appliance therapy is often recommended for people with mild to moderate sleep apnea who cannot tolerate or do not respond well to other forms of treatment, such as CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure). Oral appliance therapy is proven effective in reducing snoring and can improve sleep quality and daytime fatigue. There are a variety of oral appliances available, and we will work with you to find the appliance that works best for your needs. 

If you think you might benefit from oral appliance therapy, contact our office today!

TMJ Therapy

TMJ therapy is a type of treatment that is used to help alleviate pain and discomfort associated with the temporomandibular joint (TMJ). This joint is located in front of the ear and connects the lower jaw to the skull. It allows the lower jaw to move up and down, as well as side to side. Once this joint becomes inflamed, it leads to temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMD) and can cause a number of problems, including pain, teeth grinding, clicking or popping sounds when moving the jaw, and difficulty opening or closing the mouth.

There are a number of different ways that these painful symptoms can be alleviated:

  • One common method is through the use of ice or heat packs. Applying ice to the outside of the cheek can help to reduce inflammation while applying heat can help to relax the muscles around the joint. 
  • Other methods of TMJ management include using over-the-counter medications to help reduce pain and inflammation.
  • Physical therapy exercises can also help to stretch and strengthen the muscles around the joint.  
  • In some cases, a mouth guard may be recommended to help alleviate pain and tension in the jaw. If patients predominantly experience symptoms of teeth grinding or clenching with TMD, a mouthguard can help to limit the friction between the upper and lower teeth and reduce muscle tension.  

If you are experiencing TMD symptoms and believe an oral appliance can help, it is important to consult with our team and begin the path to finding relief. Left untreated, TMD can cause long-term damage to the teeth, gums, and jawbone.

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