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Text or Call Us!

(480) 888-9596

We Have Extended Hours

We're open Saturdays, too!

Request an Appointment

Book your dream smile!

Periodontics

Gingivitis is the leading cause of tooth loss in adults living in the developed world, and should be taken very seriously.

Periodontics refers to the dental specialty that focuses on the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of periodontal disease that affect the gums and jawbone. It is a progressive condition that typically starts with gingivitis, otherwise known as mild inflammation of the gums. It is essential to remove bacteria and calculus build up to stop the spread of infection.

Mild to moderate periodontal problems may be resolved through a deep scaling, while more advanced cases will need more intensive cleaning and your dentist may suggest removing loose teeth that cannot be saved.

Instances where periodontal treatment may be necessary:

  • moderate or advanced gum disease
  • localized gum recession
  • before crown lengthening
  • ridge augmentation
If left untreated, periodontal disease can progress into severe inflammation and eventually result in tooth loss. Antibiotics can be used in combination with scaling and root planing, curettage, surgery, or as a stand-alone treatment to reduce the number of bacteria before and/or after a procedure. Your dentist will either prescribe oral antibiotics or a topical gel to be applied directly to the surface of the gums.
Bone grafting is a procedure used to replace lost bone tissue and promote natural bone growth. Bone grafting is very versatile and predictable that can be used in many different circumstances. The bone regeneration process may be aided by:
  • gum/bone tissue regeneration
  • tissue-stimulating proteins
  • platelet-rich growth factors
Bruxism is the involuntary and habitual grinding of the teeth or clenching of the jaw, typically occurring at nighttime. The side to side motion of your jaw puts a strain on the muscles and joints in your face and mouth. Earache, depression, headaches, eating disorders, and anxiety are among the most common symptoms of bruxism.

 

Bruxism is often misdiagnosed or goes undiagnosed because it is one of the many causes of tooth wear. Our dental team is trained to identify the difference between bruxing wear and wear caused by overly aggressive brushing, acidic soft drinks, and abrasive foods.

 

Reasons for treatment of bruxism:
  • gum recession & tooth loss – bruxism is one of the leading causes of gum recession and tooth loss.
  • occlusal trauma – the abnormal wear patterns on the chewing surfaces can lead to cracks in the teeth that may require restorative treatment.
  • arthritis – in severe and chronic cases, bruxism can lead to painful arthritis in the temporomandibular joints (TMJ).
  • myofascial pain – grinding and clenching your teeth can eventually shorten and blunt the teeth, leading to painful headaches and muscle pain.

 

Treatment options:
  • mouthguards – designed from impressions of your teeth, acrylic mouthguards are meant to be worn during sleep to reduce the abrasive action of bruxism.
  • NTI-tss device – this device covers only the front teeth and is intended to prevent grinding of the rear molars.
  • Botox® – Botox® treatments weaken the muscles enough to prevent grinding but without interfering with everyday functions like chewing and talking.
Crown lengthening is a very versatile and common procedure. It is typically performed to prepare the mouth for restorative or cosmetic treatment or to improve the health of gum tissue. Crown lengthening can also be used to correct a “gummy smile”. Your dental professional will reshape or recontour bone and gum tissue to expose more of the natural tooth, giving you a more aesthetically pleasing smile.

 

Reasons for crown lengthening:

 

  • restoration of damaged teeth – crown lengthening can be used to prepare the area where teeth have broken beneath the gum line for a new restoration and correction.
  • cosmetic procedures – removing excess gum tissue can restore a healthy look and improve the aesthetics of your smile.
  • dental crowns – to prevent the new crown from damaging gum tissues and bone once it’s in place, crown lengthening is performed to provide more space between the jawbone and dental crown.
Gum recession is the progressive loss of gum tissue, eventually leading to tooth root exposure if left untreated. Although gum recession is most common in adults over the age of 40, the process can start in the teens. Changes occur very gradually so it can be difficult to self-diagnose. However, regular checkups will help prevent gum recession.

 

Symptoms that may be indicative of gum recession:

 

  • sensitive teeth – if gum recession has exposed the cementum that protects the tooth root, the dentin will be more sensitive to external stimuli.
  • longer-looking teeth – gum recession can often produce a more “toothy” smile. The length of your teeth hasn’t changed but the gum tissue has been lost.
  • halitosis, inflammation, and bleeding – these are symptoms of periodontal disease. Bacterial infections cause the gums to recede and may even result in tooth loss.

 

Causes of gum recession:

 

  • overaggressive brushing
  • poor oral hygiene
  • chewing tobacco
  • periodontal disease
Scaling and root planing can be used as both a preventative measure and as a stand-alone treatment. The objective is to remove built-up plaque and tartar living on the surface of your teeth. This non-surgical procedure yields excellent results for people suffering from gingivitis and is performed without the need for anesthesia.

 

Scaling – special dental instruments are used to remove plaque and tartar from the surface of the crown and root surfaces.

 

Root planing – this treatment removes cementum and surface dentin that is coated with unwanted microorganisms, toxins, and tartar. The teeth are smoothed to promoted good healing.

 

Reasons why scaling and root planing may be required:

 

  • disease prevention
  • tooth protection
  • aesthetic effects
  • better breath
A thorough, bi-annual cleaning is the best way to monitor and maintain your oral health. A prophylaxis treatment can either be done during the course of a regular check-up or can be done under general anesthesia.

 

Reasons for prophylaxis treatment:

 

  • tartar removal
  • aesthetics
  • fresher breath
  • identification of health issues

 

The stages of prophylaxis treatment:

 

  1. Supragingival cleaning – The dentist will thoroughly clean the area above the gum line with scaling tools to rid them of plaque and calculus.
  2. Subgingival cleaning – The dentist removes calculus from the gum pockets and beneath the gum line
  3. Root Planing – This is the smoothing of the tooth root by the dentist to eliminate any remaining bacteria.
  4. Medication – Following scaling and root planing, an antibiotic or antimicrobial cream is often placed in the gum pockets.
  5. X-ray and examination – X-rays show the extent of bone and gum recession and also aid the dentist in identifying areas which may need future attention.
Soft tissue grafting can sometimes be required for severe gum recession. Periodontal disease, aging, trauma, over brushing, and poor tooth positioning are some of the leading causes of gum recession, exposing the tooth root.

 

Eating hot and cold foods can be very uncomfortable and painful when the root of the tooth is exposed, decay is more prevalent, and the aesthetics of your smile is altered. With tissue grafting, the main goal is to cover exposed roots or thickening the existing gum tissue to stop further damage.

 

Reasons for soft tissue graft:

 

  • increased comfort
  • improved aesthetics
  • improved gum health

 

Types of soft tissue grafting:

 

  • free gingival graft – This type of graft is most commonly used to thicken existing tissue. A strip of tissue is removed from the roof of the mouth and is stitched to the grafting site in order to promote natural growth.
  • connective tissue graft – For larger areas or root exposure, subepithelial tissue is needed to fix the problem. The subepithelial connective tissue is removed from a small flap in the mouth and sutured to the grafting site.
  • pedicle graft – A flap of tissue is partially cut away and moved sideways to cover the root.  The results of this type of graft are great because the tissue that is moved to the adjacent area includes blood vessels that are left in place.

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