What Is Crown Lengthening?

Clinical Crown Lengthening

Both Dr. Cristoforo and Dr. Neidhart are skilled in crown lengthening, a surgical procedure many people need when a patient’s levels of gum tissue, and sometimes the bone, in order to improve the health of the gum tissue, prepare the mouth for a restorative procedure, or for cosmetic purposes (i.e.: correct a “gummy” smile).

What Is Crown Lengthening?

Crown lengthening is done when your periodontist must adjust the levels of gum tissue and sometimes bone around a tooth in order to create a new gum-to-tooth relationship. Often this is used to fix a damaged or altered tooth before a permanent restoration is affixed. Other times, it is performed for aesthetic or functional reasons; it can be used on patients whose teeth appear too short, or their gum line is uneven or “gummy.”

Crown Lengthening for Restorative Purposes

Sometimes a tooth is decayed or broken below the gum line, or has insufficient tooth structure for a restoration such as a crown, bridge, or veneer. Crown lengthening allows your periodontist to adjust the gum and bone level to expose more of the tooth so the restoration can fit correctly.

How Is the Procedure Done?

During crown lengthening, your periodontist removes excess gum tissue and sometimes bone to expose more of the tooth crown, the white enamel-covered part of the tooth. Once it is removed, the gum line is then sculpted to create a more correct proportion between gum tissue and tooth surface.

This can be done to one tooth to even out your gum or to several teeth to expose a natural and broad smile.

Do Patients Need to Be Put Under?

Not at all! Local anesthetic is used to numb the area. Patients are able to drive themselves to and from the appointment without a problem.

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Will There Be Follow Up Appointments?

Yes. It is crucial to schedule and keep your post operative appointments so your periodontist can ensure you are healing correctly. Even if you do not feel any pain, it is important to make sure everything is healthy and going according to plan.

Other Care

For at home care, it is important to brush your teeth twice a day to remove plaque and debris from around the teeth and gums. Floss at least once a day to remove it from between the teeth and below the gum line. And of course, always see your periodontist for a periodontal evaluation once a year to accurately screen for periodontal disease.

Healthy Gums Are Imperative for Crown Lengthening Procedures

Crown lengthening can provide a solution to optimize the health, appearance, and comfort of your teeth. This procedure can give you a beautiful new smile and boost your overall confidence, but most importantly, it can help improve your overall periodontal health.

 

 

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Choosing Proven Treatments

Treat Gum Disease with Tried-and-True Methods, Not Quick Fixes

Miracle cures, or quick fixes, have been around for centuries; certain foods, ointments, or potions have claimed to cure everything from hair loss to cancer. Marketed as quick, easy, and painless, these miracle cures are often not backed by science or approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which means that they may do more harm than good.

These Quick Fixes Are Everywhere

They exist in all areas of life. Similar quick fixes that claim to treat periodontal disease are no different. Though elements of these quick and easy periodontal “cures” may be FDA approved, there may be little or no scientific prof that they are effective in the prevention and treatment of periodontal diseases. In fact, periodontal “miracle cures” may actually harm your oral health!

What Is Periodontal Disease?

Periodontal disease is a chronic inflammatory disease that affects the gums and bone supporting the teeth. It has been associated with the progression of other diseases such as cardiovascular disease and diabetes.

What’s Wrong With Quick Fixes for Periodontal Disease?

If you opt for a treatment for periodontal disease that has not been backed by scientific evidence, it’s possible that the treatment won’t effectively treat (or could even worsen) your condition. Just because a treatment is deemed “new” or “innovative” doesn’t mean that it works properly or better than more traditional treatments.

By choosing the quick fix route first, your oral health may remain in poor condition and you may require additional treatment.

Ignore Quick Fixes and Miracle Cures

Instead of opting for a treatment that is not proven to work and could harm you further, a better idea is to schedule an appointment with a periodontist when you notice signs of periodontal disease:

  • red, swollen gums
  • tender gums
  • bleeding while brushing
  • bleeding while flossing
  • gums that are receding/pulling away from the teeth
  • loose or separating teeth

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What Is A Periodontist?

A periodontist is a dentist who specializes in the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of periodontal disease and in the placement of dental implants. Periodontists receive extensive training in these areas, including three additional years of education beyond dental school. They are familiar with the latest techniques for diagnosing and treating periodontal disease, and their education and experience allow them to effectively treat periodontal disease using clinically proven treatments such as scaling and root planing, soft tissue grafts, and regenerative procedures.

A periodontist will evaluate your unique condition, and offer the treatment that is best for you; one that is supported by both science and experience. Your periodontist can also answer any questions that you may have about alternate treatment options.

What If I Need Periodontal Work?

If you or someone you know is considering treatment for periodontal disease, do some research on the disease and its treatment. Perio.org has information about the latest research and treatment options available. You may also want to talk to friends or relatives who have had periodontal treatment and learn about their experiences. By learning about different treatment plans, you will be prepared to discuss your options with your periodontist.

Don’t Let a Quick Fix Ruin Your Health

Your health is invaluable. While quick fixes for periodontal disease and other ailments may seem like a good option, it’s a better idea to research treatment options and discuss them with your healthcare providers first. The discussion has the possibility of saving you time and money in the long run.

 

INFORMATION IN THIS BLOG IS A COURTESY OF PERIO.ORG, WHICH GIVES PERMISSION TO SHARE CERTAIN ARTICLES WITH THE PUBLIC. 

THE AMERICAN ACADEMY OF PERIODONTOLOGY PATIENT PAGE IS A PUBLIC SERVICE OF THE AAP AND SHOULD NOT BE USED AS A SUBSTITUTE FOR THE CARE AND ADVICE OF YOUR PERSONAL PERIODONTIST AFTER A THOROUGH EXAM. THERE MAY BE VARIATIONS IN TREATMENT THAT YOUR PERIODONTIST WILL RECOMMEND BASED ON INDIVIDUAL FACTS AND CIRCUMSTANCES PER PATIENT. VISIT PERIO.ORG TO ASSESS YOUR RISK AND FOR MORE INFORMATION ON PERIODONTAL DISEASE.

 

Your Gums and Your Smile

Smiles Are Important

A smile is one of the most universally recognizable expressions. Smiling can demonstrate a person’s happiness, confidence, attractiveness, sociability, and sincerity. Unfortunately, the effects of gum disease or other oral tissue disorders cannot only be dangerous to your health and well-being, but can also have the potential to ruin your smile.

Periodontists Can Help

Luckily, periodontists are the experts in treating the tissues around the teeth. They have the know-how to treat the effects of gum disease or other oral tissue disorders and help improve your smile. There are a variety of periodontal cosmetic procedures than can improve and enhance the overall artwork of your smile.

Missing Teeth

Gum disease is one of the leading causes of tooth loss in adults. In the past, the only options for disguising tooth loss were dentures and bridges. Nowadays, dental implants are a more natural looking option because implants look and feel just like real teeth. They also allow the patient to speak and eat with comfort and confidence.

During this procedure, a dental implant is attached to the root and after a healing period, an artificial tooth is attached. The result is a permanent replacement tooth that blends right in with the rest.

Root Coverage

Gum recession as a result of gum disease causes the tooth root to become exposed, which can make teeth look long and can prematurely age a person. In fact, the phrase “long in the tooth”, used to describe the elderly, is derived from this very reason.

A periodontist can fix this problem with a procedure called root coverage, or gum grafting. During this procedure, tissue from the mouth’s palate, or other synthetic materials, are used to facilitate coverage of the exposed root.

Gummy Smile

Periodontists also have the ability to fix a “gummy smile” when a person’s teeth appear too short. The teeth may actually be the proper length, but they’re covered with too much gum tissue. Your periodontists can correct this by performing a procedure called crown lengthening. During this procedure, excess gum and bone tissue is reshaped to expose more of the natural tooth. Think of it like pushing back the cuticles on a fingernail. The outcome is longer looking teeth and a winning smile.

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Smile for Happy Gums

A recent study published in The Journal of Periodontology found evidence that periodontal, or gum, disease may negatively affect an individual’s smiling patterns and deter someone from displaying positive emotions through a smile. So maintain good oral health by brushing and flossing daily and give your gums something to really smile about!

A Smile to Last a Lifetime

Your gums are an important part of your smile. They frame the teeth and play an integral role in the overall aesthetics of your everyday appearance. While taking care of them by brushing and flossing daily is the best way to maintain a healthy mouth, talk to your periodontist about the procedures available to maximize the potential of your smile.

 

INFORMATION IN THIS BLOG IS A COURTESY OF PERIO.ORG, WHICH GIVES PERMISSION TO SHARE CERTAIN ARTICLES WITH THE PUBLIC. 

THE AMERICAN ACADEMY OF PERIODONTOLOGY PATIENT PAGE IS A PUBLIC SERVICE OF THE AAP AND SHOULD NOT BE USED AS A SUBSTITUTE FOR THE CARE AND ADVICE OF YOUR PERSONAL PERIODONTIST AFTER A THOROUGH EXAM. THERE MAY BE VARIATIONS IN TREATMENT THAT YOUR PERIODONTIST WILL RECOMMEND BASED ON INDIVIDUAL FACTS AND CIRCUMSTANCES PER PATIENT. VISIT PERIO.ORG TO ASSESS YOUR RISK AND FOR MORE INFORMATION ON PERIODONTAL DISEASE.

Nutrition and Your Oral Health

Nutrition and Your Oral Health

Nutrition plays an important role in overall wellness, including your oral health. Eating well and maintaining a healthy diet can help reduce the risk of developing problems in your mouth, such as periodontal disease. In fact, including certain foods as part of a nutritious diet has actually been shown to play a role in the prevention of periodontal disease.

Lactic Acid and Calcium

Most people know that dairy products can help build strong bones. What some may not know is that consuming dairy products may also reduce your risk for developing periodontal disease. A recent study determined that individuals who regularly consume 55 or more grams of foods containing lactic acid, commonly found in dairy products such as yogurt, have a lower instance of gum disease.

Dairy products are also a good source of calcium which has been shown to lower the risk of severe periodontal disease.

The American Diabetic Association advises that adults should consume at least three servings of calcium each day to help keep your jaw bone strong and your teeth in place.

Vitamin C

When a cold is coming on, many people reach for the vitamin C. But this vitamin may do more than just fend off the sniffles’ it may reduce the risk of periodontal disease.

According to a study, consuming less than 60 mg of vitamin C each day can put you at slightly higher risk for developing certain types of periodontal disease. And this isn’t recent news! In fact, in the late 18th century, sailors away at sea would eat limes to prevent their gums from bleeding. The Institute of Medicine states the recommended dietary allowance for vitamin C is 60 mg per day – or about one orange.

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Vitamin D

Sometimes known as the “sunshine vitamin,” vitamin D can help lessen inflammation associated with periodontal disease. Research shows that foods fortified with vitamin D such as milk, eggs, sardines, and tuna fish, as well as moderate exposure to sunlight, can provide you with the amount of vitamin D required to stay healthy.

Eat Well and Brush Well

While nutrients such as lactic acid, calcium, and vitamins C and D have been shown to have a possible effect on periodontal diseases, patients should be aware that a well-balanced diet alone is not a substitute for periodontal care. It is important to follow up every healthy meal with proper brushing and flossing.

Making sure you make and keep your regular dental cleanings and check ups with either your general dentist or periodontist are crucial as well.

Healthy Diet

There may be more reasons to watch what you eat other than maintaining a healthy weight. Studies indicate that obesity may be linked to periodontal disease. Obesity can be the result of an unbalanced diet, which may lack the nutrients known to help prevent gum disease. Also, excessive consumption of sugary drinks such as soft drinks and foods high in sugars, trans-fats, and sodium are often associated with increased tooth decay and can have a negative impact on periodontal health.

Without the proper nutrients from a healthy diet, the body can have a hard time fighting off infections such as periodontal diseases. And routinely including such things as lactic acid, calcium, and vitamins C and D in your diet have been shown to possibly reduce the occurrence of gum disease.

So the next time you go to the grocery story or sit down for a meal, remember: eat right to smile bright!

INFORMATION IN THIS BLOG IS A COURTESY OF PERIO.ORG, WHICH GIVES PERMISSION TO SHARE CERTAIN ARTICLES WITH THE PUBLIC. 

THE AMERICAN ACADEMY OF PERIODONTOLOGY PATIENT PAGE IS A PUBLIC SERVICE OF THE AAP AND SHOULD NOT BE USED AS A SUBSTITUTE FOR THE CARE AND ADVICE OF YOUR PERSONAL PERIODONTIST AFTER A THOROUGH EXAM. THERE MAY BE VARIATIONS IN TREATMENT THAT YOUR PERIODONTIST WILL RECOMMEND BASED ON INDIVIDUAL FACTS AND CIRCUMSTANCES PER PATIENT. VISIT PERIO.ORG TO ASSESS YOUR RISK AND FOR MORE INFORMATION ON PERIODONTAL DISEASE.

A Lifetime of Healthy Teeth and Gums

Periodontal Work for Older Adults

People are now living longer and healthier lives, and older adults are more likely than ever before to keep their teeth for a lifetime. However, research has shown that older people also have the highest rates of periodontal disease. In fact, at least half of people over the age of 55 have some form of periodontal disease, and almost one out of four people over 65 have lost all of their teeth.

Healthy Teeth and Gums Are Important At Any Age

No matter how old you are, it is important to keep your teeth and gums healthy. If you’ve succeeded in avoiding periodontal disease as you age, it is especially important to continue to maintain your oral care routine. Be sure to always brush and floss daily, and see a dental professional, such as a periodontist, regularly.

You should receive a comprehensive periodontal exam each year as well. This will ensure that your oral health (and even your overall health) stays at its best. If you have dexterity problems or a physical disability and are finding it difficult to properly brush or floss your teeth, your dentist or periodontist can suggest options such as an electric toothbrush or floss holder.

Other Diseases Put You At a Higher Risk for Periodontal Disease

Research has shown that periodontal disease is a chronic inflammatory disease that may put you at a higher risk for other kinds, including cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and Alzheimer’s.

During your regular visits with your dentist or periodontist, be sure to let him or her know if you have any of these medical conditions or if you have a family history of disease. Likewise, if you have been diagnosed with periodontal disease, it’s a good idea to share this information with your physician to ensure that you’re receiving appropriate care.

Medications Can Impact Your Oral Health As Well

You should also tell your dentist or periodontist about any medications you are taking, because many can impact your oral health and therefore affect your dental treatment. Hundreds of common medications – including antihistamines and ones for high blood pressure – can cause side effects such as soft tissue changes, taste changes, and gum overgrowth.

Another possible side effect of some medications is dry mouth, or xerostomia, a condition that leaves the mouth without enough saliva to wash away food from your teeth. This may leave you more susceptible to tooth decay and periodontal disease, and can also cause a sore throat, problems with speaking, and difficulty swallowing.

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Special Concerns for Women

Women who are menopausal or post-menopausal may experience changes in their mouth, including xerostomia, pain or burning sensations in the gum tissue, and altered taste due to hormonal changes. Additionally, menopausal women should be concerned about osteoporosis, which can lead to tooth loss if the density of the bone that supports the teeth has decreased. Talk with your doctor about hormone replacement therapy or estrogen supplements, which may help symptoms of menopause.

Take Care of Your Teeth and Gums At Every Age

Maintaining your oral health should be a priority at any age. As you get older, be sure to continue to take care of your teeth and gums to ensure that they’ll stay healthy and strong for life!

How to Reduce Gum Inflammation at Home

Gum Inflammation and At Home Care

Gum disease is a chronic inflammatory disease that affects the supporting bone and tissues around the teeth. The inflammatory reaction is your body’s way of removing the toxins released by bacteria that live on your gums and teeth when it isn’t properly brushed away. When the inflammation lasts for too long or is too strong, it starts to break down the tissues around your teeth, including your gums and supporting bone. This may cause teeth to become loose and even fall out.

Where Can Inflammation Occur?

Unfortunately, inflammation doesn’t only occur in your mouth. Several other serious conditions, including cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and rheumatoid arthritis, are caused by the same chronic inflammation that causes periodontal disease.

The good news is that your dental professional can help you reduce the inflammation in your mouth as a result of periodontal disease. This is done through treatments such as scaling and root planing. However, you can also help to reduce the inflammation in your mouth and even in your entire body right at home.

Reducing Inflammation at Home

Eat the Right Foods

Foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids, such as oily cold-water fish (salmon, tuna, herring, or sardines) and walnuts, have been shown to reduce inflammation. Green tea, which also contains antioxidants, has been shown to reduce the risk of gum disease and cardiovascular disease by reducing inflammation in the body.

What Are Omega-3 Fatty Acids?

Omega-3 fatty acids are unsaturated fats that our bodies cannot make by themselves. Therefore, omega-3s must come from the things we eat, which is why it’s important to eat a balanced diet. Omega-3s are vital for metabolism and brain function, and also help to reduce inflammation in the body. Research has shown that omega-3 fatty acids can help treat or prevent several conditions other than periodontal disease, including cardiovascular disease, asthma, rheumatoid arthritis, depression, and Alzheimer’s disease. However, talk to your dental or health professional before taking omega-3 supplements to make sure they’re right for you.

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Exercise

People who maintain a healthy body weight and exercise regularly have been shown to have lower incidences of periodontal disease than those who do not exercise regularly. Moderate exercise may also help reduce inflammation in your body, but extreme exercise (running a marathon, for example) can actually increase systemic inflammation. It’s a good idea to discuss your exercise plan with a health professional to ensure that it’s a good fit for your lifestyle.

Brush and Floss Your Teeth

When you brush your teeth twice a day and floss at least once a day, you remove the bacteria on your teeth and gums that causes the inflammatory response that leads to gum disease. Therefore, it’s important to take care of your teeth every day by brushing and flossing, and don’t forget to see your dental professional for regular cleanings and check ups, where they expertly clean your teeth in areas your brush and floss can’t reach to prevent buildup, which leads to cavities. Your regular check ups include a yearly comprehensive periodontal evaluation, as well as other important exams to ensure your oral health is in good standing.

INFORMATION IN THIS BLOG IS A COURTESY OF PERIO.ORG, WHICH GIVES PERMISSION TO SHARE CERTAIN ARTICLES WITH THE PUBLIC. 

The American Academy of Periodontology Patient Page is a public service of the AAP and should not be used as a substitute for the care and advice of your personal periodontist after a thorough exam. There may be variations in treatment that your periodontist will recommend based on individual facts and circumstances per patient. Visit perio.org to assess your risk and for more information on periodontal disease.

What Is Extremely Important for Healthy Gums?

One of the easiest ways to help prevent gum disease is to brush and floss every single day, so therefore it is important to know the correct way to take care of your teeth and gums. It does not matter if you brush first or floss first, as long as you do both at least twice a day!

The Proper Way to Brush and Floss Your Teeth

The American Academy of Periodontology (AAP) provides free information on periodontal disease at their website perio.org. We here at The Center for Periodontics and Dental Implants know just how extremely important it is to take care of your teeth and gums on a daily basis, and want to share this information to as many people as possible.

Equipment Needed

Toothbrushes

The most commonly used toothbrush out there is the manual toothbrush. However, to get the best cleaning you can get at home is actually an electric toothbrush, which uses electrical power to move the brush head. The resulting vibrations that are created gently clean your teeth, for a better, more thorough cleaning.

It is important to always choose a soft brush head when using either a manual or an electrical toothbrush, and to replace it when the bristles begin to bend (or every two to three months).

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Floss

When it comes to floss, many people stress over what type they buy. However, according a recent study in the Journal of Periodontology, all dental flosses are equally effective. This means that it does not matter which type of floss you choose to use, and that you can try different kinds to find out just what kind you like the best.

There are many brands of floss, and a few different types, including

  • waxed
  • unwaxed
  • flavored
  • shred-resistant

You can always ask us for suggestions or for samples of floss while you are at our office!

How to Brush

This may seem like a silly topic to cover, but the truth is many people are not actually brushing their teeth properly. It is important to position the toothbrush at a 45 degree angle where your gums and teeth meet. While applying slight pressure, gently move the brush in a circular motion using short strokes. Use this method to clean the front of your teeth, then move to the back, the biting surfaces, and then even your tongue, all using the same movements as before.

Be sure you are constantly moving the brush head to avoid damaging your gums!

How to Floss

Pull out about 18 inches of floss to start with. Wrap it around one finger per hand, pulling the floss taut and leaving about 2-3 inches of floss between your fingers. While holding on tightly, insert it between your teeth, starting in the very back on one side of your mouth. Gently slide the floss up and down, making sure to remove any debris before moving on to the next tooth over. Repeat this process, flossing in between every single tooth, unwrapping fresh floss from your finger as you go.

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Don’t Forget Your Regular Checkups!

Daily brushing and flossing is one of the best ways to help prevent gum disease because it keeps the formation of bacteria-rich plaque to a minimum. However, you should be sure to always keep up with your regular cleanings and checkups with your dentist (or periodontal specialist if you working on treating periodontal disease) at least twice a year to have your teeth cleaned professionally and to screen for signs of periodontal disease, oral cancer, and other oral issues you can’t see or feel at home.

We understand money may be tight in the current economy, but preventing gum disease can be less expensive than treating gum disease! Additionally, research has found that people with gum disease can have higher health care costs than people without it! Take the time now to regularly brush and floss to help prevent gum disease and avoid higher health care costs and future health care issues.