Gum disease can be solved

The best way to prevent periodontal disease and, therefore, the need for treatment is to follow proper oral hygiene. Even so, it is advisable to visit the dentist to prevent problems that may arise over time.

What are the pathologies that affect the gums?

The accumulation of bacterial plaque and tartar in the neck of the teeth, that is, the gum line, will lead to gingivitis, bleeding and reversible reddening of the gums. If no solution is found and if it is related to other factors such as tobacco consumption, the situation may worsen, leading to periodontitis, which is pyorrhea or loss of bone supporting the teeth. It should be noted that this second phase of the disease is irreversible, although its progress can be halted by taking the appropriate measures. The main disadvantage is that they are painless diseases for the patient, so the dental specialist is usually consulted late.

Can this type of disease be prevented?

The way to prevent and stop periodontal disease, gum disease, is a correct oral hygiene, apply the appropriate treatment and avoid habits such as smoking.

What are the treatments to avoid these oral health problems?

We treat periodontal diseases in all their stages. If the patient has gingivitis, an oral cleaning is performed and specific instructions for proper hygiene at home will be provided. If the patient already suffers from periodontitis, in addition to the treatment described for gingivitis, deeper cleanings will be performed under anesthesia, which sometimes may even require surgery.

What are the health consequences of these oral pathologies?

They can influence the overall health of the patient. Inflammatory gum pathologies are directly related to diabetes, compromising glucose control if the person is not in the habit of taking care of his or her gum health. Likewise, if the patient is not careful with his or her blood glucose levels, the loss of the bone that supports the teeth accelerates notably. There is also scientific evidence linking periodontal problems with premature births, low birth weight children, respiratory and cardiac difficulties. When the attachment disappears, the teeth move and become loose. As a result, chewing ability is reduced and the digestive process is affected.

How do these problems affect our social relationships?

When we introduce ourselves to others, we usually look first at the eyes and then at the mouth. People with problems such as those described above even modify their way of smiling, covering their mouths to do so. They cause negative consequences in social and couple relationships due to bad breath, fear of smiling, separation and loss of teeth, among others. Nowadays, these pathologies can be stopped, if it is done in time, without losing teeth. If it is too late, we can replace the lost teeth with implants.

What happens when the patient has gum recession or receding gums?

When this situation occurs, there is usually sensitivity and other problems in the exposed root, such as wear and decay. If the recession is in the most visible part of the mouth, it also affects the esthetics, lengthening the teeth and generating the effect of an aged smile. The recommended treatment is gum grafting, both for prevention and correction.

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What about when someone’s teeth are too small and the gums are too visible when smiling?

For those teeth that have not finished externalizing, we can lengthen them by “gum recontouring” to aesthetically perfect the smile by correcting the dental proportions and preventing so much gum from showing. Other times the same treatment must be performed on very worn teeth, with large cavities or broken teeth, since what is left of the healthy tooth is not enough to restore it. In these situations the piece is lengthened allowing its reconstruction.

What happens when one’s own teeth can no longer be restored?

From this moment on, the specialist resorts to implants, artificial roots made of titanium, the most compatible metal with the human body. When there is sufficient bone and gum, they are applied without the need for additional treatments. If there is an absence of bone or gum, they can be regenerated through the patient’s own grafts, favoring an optimal long-term result.

Something that prevents many patients from going to the dentist is fear or anxiety, isn’t it?

Yes, it does. When the case requires it, superficial sedation is performed using medication. We also use nitrous oxide sedation, known as “laughing gas”, which is administered by inhalation.

How long does it take to replace a tooth, and can it be done in a single day?

Depending on the situation and the patient’s needs. When the patient needs bone and/or gum grafts, the procedure can be delayed for months, but whenever possible, teeth are placed from the first day. These are made of a provisional material, allowing the patient to develop his social life and chew normally. After a few months the definitive teeth are placed.

Can implants generate any type of consequence?

In principle, they are techniques that will last for life. Even so, sometimes, especially if the patient does not follow the corresponding daily care, the bacterial plaque causes inflammation in the gum and loss of the bone that holds the implants. It is the same course that causes tooth loss, but faster due to implant infection.

How can these problems be avoided?

It is a matter of taking care of the details. There are many manufacturers of implants: good, regular and very bad. In the case of companies that offer the implant as a product with a lifetime guarantee, it is possible that it may involve a higher cost, but it is worth it. A good gum surrounding the implants, the surgical technique used, the quality, the adjustment of the prosthesis and the correct maintenance and hygienic care of the patient are also important for success.

What is guided surgery?

We can perform guided surgery to place implants: one, several or all the teeth in the mouth. The first step is to perform a bone scan. Subsequently, using a computer program, we perform a virtual surgery simulating the placement of implants in the most appropriate position. This study is sent by internet to the company that manufactures the splint or guide to place the implants, through the mucosa. In this way, the implants are implanted with total precision, reducing the time of the intervention and without incisions or stitches, which leads to a more comfortable postoperative period, with less pain and inflammation. This is the ideal technique for placing teeth in a single day.