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Gums are The Unsung Hero of Your Mouth

In the US, almost one in two adults aged 30 and older have some form of gum disease, and of these, almost a third suffer from moderate periodontitis, while 8.5% have severe gum disease. While gums may not seem like an important part of your mouth, they’re essential to the beauty and function of your smile. Gums or gingiva are soft tissue that surround your teeth, teeth roots, and bones of your jaw. They act as a seal and protective layer against disease-causing bacteria and a supportive structure that keeps your teeth firmly implanted. When plaque and tartar accumulate on your teeth, your gums become inflamed and tender before pulling away. This can lead to infections, sensitivity, pain, and even structural problems with your teeth and bone. Additional issues that may require soft tissue treatment include receding gums, gummy smiles, and a large gap between your two front teeth. The experienced team at Eric George DMD & Associates offer a full spectrum of soft tissue treatment in Coventry, RI focused on keeping your gums and teeth healthy. We offer a full spectrum of sedation dentistry options to ensure your comfort when receiving gum treatment.

The experienced team at Eric George DMD & Associates offer a full spectrum of soft tissue treatment in Coventry, RI focused on keeping your gums and teeth healthy.

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Benefits of Soft Tissue Periodontics

Select Treatments to Restore Your Gums and Smile

Soft tissue enlargement or abnormal growth is caused by bacteria-induced inflammation related to poor oral hygiene and gum disease. Less frequently, it can be caused by certain medications or systemic conditions. When gum tissue pulls away from your teeth, deep pockets trap plaque and bacteria. During this in-office procedure, we remove excessive, overgrown, or diseased gum tissue using a surgical scalpel or laser. When excision is complete, we gently reshape and reattach your remaining gums to the tooth line.
Gum recession causes gums to recede or pull away from your teeth. This exposes the tooth roots, thereby increasing your risk of decay and tooth sensitivity. The most common type of gum graft is connective, which involves opening a small flap on the roof of your mouth, then placing it onto the recessed area to attach and cover exposed tooth roots. A free gingival graft also takes a small piece of tissue from the roof of your mouth, however, both the outer and inner layer of gum tissue are removed to provide extra reinforcement. A pedicle graft creates a flap of tissue from an area right next to your gum recession and uses this to cover the area of receding gum tissue.
This procedure involves surgically recontouring gum tissue and supporting bones to improve both the appearance and function of your smile. Gummy smiles are resolved by removing excess gum tissue to reveal more natural tooth enamel. This procedure is also done for functional reasons when additional tooth surface needs to be exposed to support dental restorations such as crowns.
In the upper arch, the labial frenum is the tissue that connects the gum to your lip. In the lower mouth, the lingual frenum is located between the base of the tongue and floor of your mouth. If the frenum is too tight, this can restrict movement and hinder everyday functions such as speaking and swallowing. We use a laser to gently remove excess frenum from the upper gums to prevent gaps in the front teeth and associated orthodontic problems. We loosen frenum tissue under the tongue to enhance mobility and prevent related speech problems. While we commonly perform this procedure in children (with the exception of infants), we also perform frenectomies in adults to improve their overall oral health and smile.
This non-surgical, two-part deep cleaning is often the first line of defense against early gum disease. Scaling removes plaque and tartar beneath and between your gums, and on the base of your tooth crowns. Root planing involves intensive scaling of the root surface to smooth out rough areas to prevent bacteria, plaque, and tartar from forming again underneath your gumline. This decreases gum tissue inflammation, while enabling your gums to heal and reattach more firmly to your teeth.
A few months after a professional cleaning, gum disease can recur due to bacteria. Periodontal maintenance with deeper cleanings at 3-4-month intervals can help keep your gums and teeth in optimal health. The interval between visits is based on the severity of periodontal disease, type of treatment and response to it, plaque growth rate, and your commitment to practicing good oral care at home.
Similar to gum disease, peri-implantitis is a site-specific infection that causes inflammation in soft tissues surrounding dental implants. If this condition progresses untreated, it can cause bone loss around dental implants, thereby leading to failure. Certain factors increase your risk, including a history of periodontitis, poor oral hygiene, diabetes, osteoporosis, tobacco smoking, and a genetic predisposition. In addition to thoroughly cleaning the infected area with state-of-the-art dental tools, we prescribe antibiotics to eliminate remaining bacteria. The most severe cases require removal of the implant and bone grafting to replace the damaged bone, after treatment with antibiotics.

Protect your smile by giving your mouth’s unsung hero some TLC!

Schedule healing soft tissue treatment in Coventry, RI today.

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