Periodontal (Gum) Disease - Lyons Dental

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Periodontal (Gum) Disease

What Causes Gum Disease?

Periodontal (gum) disease is an insidious infection that affects virtually everyone with teeth. This group of diseases originates with bacteria that grow in a sticky matrix commonly called plaque, which grows back and should be removed daily using tooth brushing and flossing.

Mechanical removal of plaque can accomplish just so much, however, since the oral bacteria responsible for periodontal disease are natural residents of the mouth that reattach to teeth immediately after plaque is removed. Some people are more susceptible to periodontal disease than others. Factors such as heredity (where a family has a history of periodontal disease) and lifestyle (such as tobacco and alcohol use) can influence the overgrowth of certain oral bacteria.

This overgrowth can damage soft and hard tissues unless it is brought under control and the tissues are allowed to heal. As the gum tissue is damaged, it begins to detach from the tooth exposing the roots. In more advanced stages, this recession results in “pockets” being formed. This detached gum tissue is an ideal living space for the bacteria that cause periodontal disease – and it allows the disease to destroy the underlying bone to which your teeth are anchored.

If gingivitis goes untreated, oral bacteria will continue to overgrow and may reach the supporting structures of the teeth in individuals who are susceptible. If these supporting structures deteriorate it can lead to teeth becoming loose. This destruction is painless, however, it usually represents severe periodontal disease – and it presages the loss of the tooth.

Early detection of periodontal disease can literally save teeth, but the process can be performed only by a dental professional who employs techniques that can measure the depth of the separation of gum and tooth with an instrument called a periodontal probe. Detected in early stages, periodontal disease is easily treatable, but later stages of the disease require more advanced forms of therapy.

Preventative Solutions for Gum Disease

The best way to fight gum disease is to stop it before it destroys gum and bone tissues. Brush and floss daily and have regular checkups done at least once a year by your dentist.

If your dentist finds that you have gingivitis, you may need your teeth professionally cleaned.

Tartar (calculus) is often found on your teeth when you have gingivitis. This hardened plaque should be removed by a dental professional since it can harbor plaque and irritate the gums. Patients who have gingivitis should have their teeth cleaned, on average, twice a year.

Professional treatment in areas of bone loss is aimed at cleaning the exposed tooth root surface so that the surrounding soft tissues can reattach.

Two types of treatment can facilitate restoring health, repair and re-growing bone.

  • Treating Gum Disease
  • Scaling and Root Planing

Most people, over time, build up tartar around their teeth at the gum line. Some people naturally form more tartar than others, but everyone has it. Effective daily oral hygiene can minimize that buildup by removing the bacterial plaque that influences tartar formation, since tartar is an encrustation on the teeth formed by salivary secretions, food residue, and various minerals ( such as calcium carbonate or phosphate). This hard mineral substance, which cannot be effectively removed at home once it forms, makes it far easier for disease-causing bacteria, and the food debris they feed on, to attach and remain impervious to brushing and flossing. Tartar below the gum has been removed by scraping the root surface without seeing the deposit. Today, we understand that this “blind” approach can leave bacteria and tartar at the tooth, which in turn can prevent the gum from reattaching to the tooth and lead to re-infection.

Osseous Surgery

Osseous surgery, sometimes referred to as pocket reduction surgery or gingivectomy, refers to a number of different surgeries aimed at gaining access to the tooth roots to remove tartar and disease-causing bacteria.

Osseous surgery is used to reshape deformities and remove pockets in the alveolar bone surrounding the teeth. It is a common necessity in effective treatment of more advanced periodontal diseases. The ultimate goal of osseous surgery is to reduce or eliminate the periodontal pockets that cause periodontal disease. Despite the word surgery the procedure is reported to feel more like a thorough cleaning. The specific goals of surgery include:

Reducing Bacterial Spread:

Bacteria from the mouth can spread throughout the body and cause other life-threatening conditions such as heart disease and respiratory disease. Removing deep tartar and thereby bacteria can help reduce the risk of bacteria spreading.

Preventing Bone Loss:

The immune systems inflammatory response prompted by periodontal bacteria can lead to bone loss in the jaw region, and cause teeth to fall out. Osseous surgery seeks to stop periodontal disease before it progresses to this level.

Enhancing the Smile:

Mouths plagued with periodontal disease are often unsightly. Brown gums, rotting teeth, and ridge indentations can leave a person feeling depressed and too self-conscious to smile. Fortunately, osseous surgery can help reduce bacteria and disease and thereby restore your mouth to its former radiance, while restoring confidence at the same time.

Facilitating Home Care:

As the gum pocket deepens, it can become nearly impossible to brush and floss adequately. Osseous surgery reduces pocket size, making it easier to brush and floss, and thereby prevent further periodontal disease.

What does the procedure entail?

A local anesthetic will be used to numb the area prior to surgery. The gum tissue is gently removed to provide access to the bone and roots of the teeth. After the roots have been thoroughly cleaned through scaling, the bone is reshaped to restore contours that are conducive to health. Bone grafting is also used to fill in large defects.

After the procedure, small sutures allow the tissue to heal in a healthy manner. The site will also be covered with a bandage (periodontal pack) or dressing.

Re-growing lost bone

In cases where we choose to regenerate (regrow) bone that has been lost to periodontal disease, the surgical access makes it possible to regrow bone that was previously damaged. When combined with the application of biomaterials that encourage the regeneration of soft and hard oral tissues, such as enamel matrix derivatives (see below), the surgical result is more predictable and more comfortable, usually with far less gum recession.


How Do I know What Type of Dentistry is Right For Me?

Making a decision concerning something that defines who you are to many the first time they see you can be intimidating and confusing. Dr. John-Varghese will walk you step by step through the decision process helping you understand every aspect.

CEREC Crowns or Just a Filling
Chairside Economical Restorations of Esthetic Ceramic or CEREC® for short is a new state-of-the-art method of reconstructing tooth restorations. This new technology has revolutionized ceramic restorations such as crowns and veneers for patients so that there is no longer a wait between preparing the restoration and finally receiving the finished product.
Dental Sealant or General Cleaning
Sealants are thin layers of resin that are placed on the pits, fissures, and grooves of molars to prevent decay on these surfaces. The majority of decay on back teeth starts in the grooves and pits of chewing surfaces, especially during the first few years after their eruption. Sealing these surfaces with composite resins prevents this kind of decay.
Zoom Teeth Whitening
The procedure is simple. It begins with short preparation to cover your lips and gums, leaving only your teeth exposed.
We then apply the proprietary Zoom! whitening gel, which is designed to be used specifically with the Zoom! light. The light and gel work together to gently penetrate your teeth, breaking up any stains and discoloration.

  • During this time you can relax.
  • The gel is applied for 3-4 fifteen minute sessions, for a total treatment time of 45-60 minutes.
  • Finally, you go home with your brighter, whiter smile. We also provide you with touch-up trays so you can maintain your new smile.
Dental Implant Restoration
During the last 20 years, dental implants have become a desirable alternative to other methods of replacing missing teeth. Excellent success rates and a range of available options give dentists a variety of new ways to treat and replace lost teeth.

Your dentist can evaluate your case and tell you if you are a candidate for dental implants. Structurally, a dental implant is a titanium-based cylinder that replaces the missing tooth root. After a period of time, other parts are placed on the implant to enable your dentist to eventually place a crown (cap) on the implant. Implants can also be used to support full or partial dentures, dramatically improving denture retention and stability.

Veneers and Laminates

Veneers and Laminates are a thin shell of porcelain or resin that is bonded to the surface of the teeth. This can change their shape, shade, and position to improve the cosmetics of your teeth and smile. They are also used to replace and restore any lost tooth structure where indicated.

Your dentist will do a complete examination of your teeth to determine if veneers are ideal for you. Veneers often provide the opportunity to dramatically transform the aesthetics of your teeth and smile.

Still Have Questions?


Lyons Dental

1519 Lyons Road, Centerville Ohio 45458

Lyons Dental
1519 Lyons Road
Centerville Ohio 45458

Phone: 937.872.2046
FAX:  937.428.4249

Mon 8:00AM - 4:00PM
Tue  8:00AM - 4:00PM
Wed 8:00AM - 4:00PM
Thu 7:00AM - 2:00PM