Waterpik or Flossing? Which is Better for Your Dental Health? | Periodontist Raleigh, NC

The waterpik was first invented in 1962. There has been a great deal of confusion since then as to which is better for your oral health: regular flossing or a waterpik? Which one is recommended by dentists? Rather than jumping straight to the answer, let’s examine the pros and cons of each method.


It may seem like a boring piece of string, but it is much more than that. Flossing is an excellent method of removing food that is trapped between the teeth or below the gum line. Using this method is a very efficient way to accomplish this task, and it is probably one of the cheapest items you will ever purchase. Flossing is quick, easy, and you can do it virtually anywhere. Unfortunately, untrained hands may have difficulty reaching certain areas of the mouth when flossing. There is also the possibility of minor bleeding or sensitivity to the gums.


Our dependence on technology has never been greater than it is today. The waterpik is a special device that shoots a stream of water into the mouth, using pressure to massage the gums and push food away from the teeth. The device is extremely easy to use, making it an excellent choice for individuals with braces or other types of dental work. Gum health can be greatly improved by the massaging effect. It is also easier to maneuver, allowing you to reach those hard-to-reach places that regular floss simply cannot.

Waterpiks, on the other hand, can be costly and difficult to store in your bathroom.Additionally, it requires access to electricity and clean water, which means it cannot be carried as comfortably as a pocket-sized floss container.

As a matter of fact, there is no right answer as to which is the better method of flossing. Depending on your needs and circumstances, both are excellent options for flossing. According to a study published in the Journal of Clinical Dentistry, a waterpik reduced plaque by 74.4 percent, while flossing only reduced it by 57.7 percent. As compared to traditional floss, Waterpiks can also reduce the risk of gingivitis and bleeding gums. Nevertheless, many dentists still recommend string flossing as the most effective method of cleaning between your teeth.

We are here to assist you in maintaining your oral health for life, no matter what decision you make. To schedule your next appointment, please contact our office today.

Tar Heel Periodontics and Implant Dentistry
Phone: (919) 844-7140
cash, credit card
10931 Strickland Rd.
Raleigh, NC 27615

How to Make Your Oral Health Care Routine Environmentally Friendly | Periodontist Raleigh

There has been a trend towards being eco-friendly for a while, but this issue is more pressing now than ever before. Fortunately, we still have time to change our habits in order to prevent irreversible climate change.

Choosing the right oral care products and disposing of them properly can help us take care of the environment. You can keep your mouth healthy in a sustainable way by following these tips!

Be aware of how much water you are using.

This may seem obvious or even common knowledge. You can make a significant impact on the environment by reducing the amount of water you use while brushing. If you turn off the water while brushing, you could potentially save 8 gallons of water per day. In your home, that’s more than 200 gallons a month per person. Children who are taught these habits early will be more likely to lead a sustainable lifestyle in the future.

Brush with a bamboo toothbrush.

Many toothbrushes are made from non-degradable and non-recyclable materials, such as plastic handles and nylon bristles. It means that the 50 million pounds of plastic waste generated by toothbrushes every year never really leaves the planet. Unlike plastic toothbrushes, bamboo toothbrushes are compostable and biodegradable, which means they can be easily disposed of in landfills.

Make use of an electric toothbrush.

Certain electric toothbrushes have a reusable bottom or base, and the top is replaced when the bristles become worn. Although waste is still generated, it is significantly less than getting a brand new toothbrush every few months. To further reduce waste, use an electric toothbrush that plugs into the wall instead of batteries.


There is probably more to your oral health care routine than just a toothbrush and water. There is a green toothpaste option available at almost every major retailer. If you have bottles of mouthwash, plastic containers to hold floss, or other plastic materials, ensure that you recycle them properly. If you are unsure whether some of your containers are recyclable, you can ask your local recycling center. It can go a long way towards preventing plastic from ending up in unwanted places.

Dentists practice eco-friendly dentistry in greater numbers than ever before. Some may not even be aware that they are doing so. Dentists who are environmentally conscious utilize digital x-rays and patient records. Furthermore, they may be able to use environmentally friendly dental materials without adding hazardous substances to wastewater.

Think green and keep yourself and the planet smiling. Contact our office today to schedule your next appointment.

Tar Heel Periodontics and Implant Dentistry
Phone: (919) 844-7140
cash, credit card
10931 Strickland Rd.
Raleigh, NC 27615

Periodontists: What Do They Do? | Periodontist in Raleigh NC

A periodontist may be recommended to you by your dentist if you are one of the millions of Americans who suffer from periodontal disease (gum disease). Specialists in this field have received additional training in order to assist patients with problems such as gum recession and tooth loss. Our periodontist office can provide you with the treatment you need in a supportive, reassuring environment. Find out how periodontal care can help you maintain a healthy smile.

What are the reasons I might need a periodontist?

Healthy teeth are maintained by maintaining good oral hygiene and attending regular dental appointments. However, extra care may be needed if you have symptoms of gum disease, such as:

  • Plaque and tartar buildup
  • Dark or bleeding gums
  • Breath that is persistently bad

Untreated gum disease can worsen and lead to more serious problems.

Periodontal Care: What Is It?

Your specific treatment will depend on the severity of your condition and the symptoms you’re experiencing. Among the different services are:

  • Periodontal Maintenance: When it comes to gum disease, prevention is the best policy. The periodontists at our office can develop an individualized care plan that includes regular oral examinations and dental cleanings to help patients preserve and maintain their teeth.
  • Scaling and Root Planing: The first step in treating gum disease is scaling and root planing, a noninvasive procedure that may be able to reverse your condition in one visit. During this two-step procedure, plaque and tartar are removed from the gum line and the tooth root is smoothed out to allow the gums to reattach.
  • Extractions and Dental Implants: When it is not possible to save a tooth, our periodontists can extract it and place a dental implant. Furthermore, they can provide dental implants that look and function like real teeth following the loss of a tooth. A titanium post is surgically implanted into the jawbone, and then a crown is placed on top of it.
  • Bone Grafting, Bone Regeneration, and Ridge Preservation: A dental implant may not be able to be supported by the jawbone without bone grafting, bone regeneration, and ridge preservation. These cases – and others – may require specialized services in order to rebuild the bone. Unlike bone grafting, bone regeneration and ridge preservation involve encouraging the body to produce bone tissue naturally.
  • Gum Grafting & Crown Lengthening: Gum recession can lead to exposed tooth roots, which can require gum grafting. In gum grafting, the missing tissue is replaced by a soft tissue graft. When there is too much gum tissue covering the teeth, crown lengthening may be performed to remove the excess tissue.

Our periodontist in Raleigh can assist you if you suspect that you have periodontal disease. Contact Tar Heel Periodontics and Implant Dentistry today to schedule an appointment.

Tar Heel Periodontics and Implant Dentistry
Phone: (919) 844-7140
cash, credit card
10931 Strickland Rd.
Raleigh, NC 27615

Preventing Gum Infections | Raleigh NC Periodontist

Gum disease can be a major problem, but if detected early enough, it can be reversed. Once gum disease has progressed, bone and soft tissue are damaged by infections. Untreated gingivitis can easily progress to periodontitis if left untreated. As a result, you may lose your teeth and suffer serious health problems. The good news is that knowledge is power, and you can take control of your oral health by learning about the different types of gum disease.

Our goal in this post is to explain how gum disease progresses and what you can do to maintain better oral health.


Gums that are healthy are light pink and firm. If your gums are red, bleed easily, or swell, you may have gingivitis. Poor oral hygiene is usually responsible for this condition. With the right steps, it is very possible to reverse the situation at this point.


Inflammation of the gums is a hallmark of periodontitis, a form of advanced gum disease. It is at this point that the infection has spread below the gum line. As a result of the bacterial infection, the jawbone deteriorates while the supporting gums are pulled away from the teeth. When these two factors are combined, tooth loss occurs as the supporting structures of bone and tissue deteriorate. The symptoms of this condition include receding gums, bad breath, and gingival pockets. As a result, pus may form, which indicates an infection.

Periodontitis (Aggressive)

This is a very rapid progression that stems from periodontitis. Gingival ligaments that hold your teeth in place may quickly deteriorate and jaw bone damage may occur at a more advanced rate. Luckily, there are ways to reverse this damage with guided bone regeneration.

Periodontitis (Chronic)

The term chronic periodontitis refers to the inflammation of the gingival tissues around the teeth. Due to gum recession, this can result in bone loss. Your teeth may be very loose and you may have gingival pockets.

Systemic Periodontitis

Periodontitis caused by a systemic disease is called systemic periodontitis. This type of condition may include:

  • Diabetes
  • Respiratory disease
  • Heart disease

How to stop gum disease:

One way to prevent future gum problems is to improve your oral health routine. Maintain good oral hygiene by brushing, flossing, and using mouthwash. Additionally, you should visit your dentist every six months. Keep reading to learn more about how to maintain good gum health.


Your daily oral health routine should include flossing. Floss at least once a day. By flossing, you can remove plaque that your toothbrush cannot reach. Flossing should be done after brushing. Flossing can be done in the morning, in the afternoon, or even at night. By flossing at least once a day, you can significantly reduce your risk of periodontal disease.

Regular Dental Cleanings

You will be able to detect gum disease easily if you visit your dentist regularly, every six months. By having your teeth cleaned regularly, the dentist will be able to detect warning signs of gum disease before it becomes a serious problem. Professional cleaning will remove any buildup of tartar and plaque. Even if you brush and floss regularly, hard-to-reach areas may result in plaque buildup. If you suffer from gingivitis, it may be possible to fully reverse it with regular dental visits.

Stop Smoking

Here’s one more reason for you to stop smoking. Gum disease can be greatly reduced by quitting smoking. You may find it more difficult to fight gum disease if you smoke, because smoking weakens your immune system. In addition, smoking makes it much harder for the gums to heal after they have already suffered damage.

Brush Daily

Brush your teeth every day. As a result, you will be able to remove the food and plaque that are trapped between your gums. Give your tongue a good scrub as well. Bad breath may be caused by bacteria on your tongue, particularly on the back of the tongue. Make sure your toothbrush has soft bristles and fits comfortably in your mouth. Consider using an electronic toothbrush if you are able to do so. Compared to manual toothbrushes, these toothbrushes are significantly more effective at removing plaque. Ensure that the head is replaced every few months.

Use fluoride toothpaste.

When choosing toothpaste, be sure to select one that will prevent gum disease. In stores, there are a variety of products claiming to reduce gingivitis and freshen your breath. Which one should you pick? The most important thing is to choose a product that is ADA-sealed and contains fluoride.

Use mouthwash

Over-the-counter mouthwash can help you reduce plaque and prevent gingivitis. Plaque and tartar can be reduced with mouthwash, as can food particles stuck between teeth.

Our Raleigh NC periodontist office can help if you are already in the late stages of gum disease. Our professional experience in treating periodontal disease enables us to assist you in reversing even the most severe stages of gum disease. Please contact our periodontist office today to schedule an appointment. Make your oral health a priority with the help of Tar Heel Periodontics and Implant Dentistry.

Tar Heel Periodontics and Implant Dentistry
Phone: (919) 844-7140
cash, credit card
10931 Strickland Rd.
Raleigh, NC 27615

Do You Need a Periodontal Consultation? | Periodontist in Raleigh, NC

Gum disease is best prevented by practicing good oral hygiene at home and visiting your dentist regularly for checkups and cleanings.

When it comes to your dental routine, how do you know if it’s working? You may notice specific symptoms of gum disease when you brush and floss, and your dentist will observe less obvious signs during your dental examination.

Gingivitis is the early stage of gum disease. Generally, it is caused by poor dental hygiene, although certain diseases, aging, hormones, and other factors can also play a role. In the event that you notice any of the following symptoms, it may be time to consult your dentist regarding your gum health:

  • Gums that are bright red or purple
  • Swollen gums
  • Tenderness or pain
  • Whenever you brush or floss, you experience bleeding.
  • Persistent bad breath
  • Gum recession

Sometimes, there are no obvious symptoms at all. It’s for this reason that regular checkups are so important. You can reverse the effects of gingivitis by paying careful attention to your oral hygiene, receiving professional cleanings, using prescription mouthwashes, or undergoing other treatments as required.

Why should we be so proactive? When left untreated, gingivitis can develop into a more serious gum disease, called periodontitis.

Plaque and tartar contain bacteria that cause inflammation, which causes the gum tissue to pull away from the teeth, forming pockets that become deeper over time. Bacteria continue to multiply in those areas where brushing cannot reach, resulting in further inflammation, infection, and the eventual breakdown of gum and bone tissue.

Untreated periodontitis can lead to serious complications, including:

  • Roots are more susceptible to decay due to significant gum recession.
  • Periodontal abscesses
  • Teeth that are loose or have shifted out of place
  • loss of bone around the teeth
  • Tooth loss

Your dentist may refer you to our periodontal office if you show signs of advanced gum disease.

A periodontist specializes in diagnosing, preventing, and treating gum disease. Upon completing dental school, a periodontist must complete an additional three years of advanced education. A periodontist is trained and skilled to treat gum disease surgically and nonsurgically, as well as to place dental implants and perform cosmetic procedures.

In addition to diagnosing and treating periodontitis, periodontists recommend a variety of procedures based on your specific needs. In order to restore your gum health, they offer the following treatments:

  • Oral, topical, or time-release medications
  • Scaling and root planing are non-surgical deep cleaning procedures that remove plaque and tartar from above and below the gum line and smooth tooth roots to remove bacteria and help the gums attach to the teeth again.
  • Flap surgery can be used to treat persistent gum infection, reduce pocket depth, and re-secure the gums snugly around the teeth.
  • Various regenerative procedures are available to help restore and repair tissue that has been damaged by gum disease, including bone grafts and gum grafts.

Be proactive if your dentist recommends a periodontal consultation. The best way to protect yourself from the serious consequences of untreated gum disease is to consult a specialist in this field. Periodontists have the knowledge and experience to treat gum disease, restore bone and gum tissue, and prevent it from progressing. Contact our periodontal office today to schedule an appointment.

Tar Heel Periodontics and Implant Dentistry
Phone: (919) 844-7140
cash, credit card
10931 Strickland Rd.
Raleigh, NC 27615

Adolescents and Periodontal Disease | Periodontist in Raleigh

Many people do not realize that periodontal disease is not exclusive to adults. It can also affect adolescents. It is important to note that gingivitis, a milder form of periodontitis, is a sign that more serious problems may arise in the future. Periodontitis can develop if gingivitis is left untreated.

According to the American Academy of Periodontology (AAP), younger people are more likely to develop severe gingivitis. There is a link between gingivitis and periodontal disease. Periodontitis is more likely to affect children and adolescents with type 1 diabetes or immune deficiencies.

Children and adolescents suffer from three types of periodontal diseases.

Chronic gingivitis

An adolescent who exhibits or complains of symptoms such as redness, swelling, or bleeding gums may have chronic gingivitis. Early treatment can prevent gingivitis from developing into a more severe form of periodontal disease.

Aggressive and/or chronic periodontitis

Because periodontitis can occur in teens as early as their early teenage years and progress throughout their teens, the term chronic periodontitis replaces the term adult periodontitis. A chronic and aggressive form of periodontitis primarily affects the incisors and first molars. Bone loss is one of its distinctive characteristics. On examination, patients who have this form of the disease have minimal dental plaque.

Periodontal disease that is chronic and aggressive in nature.

This more severe form of periodontal disease has many of the same characteristics as the chronic and aggressive types. Gum inflammation and the accumulation of plaque and calculus are common symptoms.

There may be a change in the overall gum structure in both forms of more severe periodontal disease. As a result of these changes, teeth may become loose or even fall out, depending on the severity of the changes.

Any treatment’s success depends heavily on early diagnosis. Periodontal examinations should be conducted twice a year as part of an adolescent’s complete dental examination.

Mouths are full of bacteria. It is necessary for food digestion in some cases. In areas where bacteria can travel, such as exposed gum pockets or cavities, diseases are more likely to develop. When dental hygiene is practiced properly, healthy mouths offer greater protection against painful dental diseases.

Every family member should have a dental exam and cleaning twice a year, and you should consult your doctor if you are experiencing pain, sensitivity, or other oral issues. The early detection and treatment of oral problems at our periodontist office prevents them from developing into serious periodontal disease or irreversible damage.

Tar Heel Periodontics and Implant Dentistry
Phone: (919) 844-7140
cash, credit card
10931 Strickland Rd.
Raleigh, NC 27615

Are You at Risk for Periodontal Disease? | Raleigh NC Periodontist

Periodontitis is a disease of the gums that affects both young and old adults. Even though this oral disease is more prevalent in older adults, 47.2% of people over 30 are affected by it. Furthermore, it may be silent or painless, which means that you may not be aware of it right away.

The good news is that periodontal disease can be prevented and treated. Are you interested in learning more about this common oral health issue and what you can do to prevent it? Keep reading to learn more!

What causes periodontal disease?

Periodontitis, or gum disease, is often caused by poor oral hygiene. In fact, the mouth is home to the second-most diverse microbial community in the body. It contains, at the very least, 700 different species of bacteria. Plaque is the result of many of these microorganisms.

Plaque is a clear, sticky substance that constantly forms on the teeth. After meals, oral bacteria are even more active in creating plaque. The reason for this is that they feed on leftovers as well as sugar and starches.

All of these factors emphasize the importance of brushing and flossing after each meal. There are, however, some individuals who are more susceptible to, or are at a higher risk of developing, periodontitis.

What role does age play in periodontal disease?

Periodontitis is more common among older adults, affecting 70% of those over 65. Consequently, seniors are more likely to suffer from tooth loss.

Scientists believe that gums break down faster with age. Aged gums also appear to be more prone to inflammation. Furthermore, aging slows the body’s ability to heal wounds, such as those in the gums.

Aside from older people, who is most likely to suffer from periodontitis?

Besides poor oral hygiene, smoking tobacco also increases the risk of periodontitis. According to research, women between the ages of 20 and 39 who smoke are twice as likely to develop periodontal disease. There are 15.6% of smokers in the general population who suffer from gum disease, as opposed to 4.9% of non-smokers. As a result, smoking is the leading modifiable risk factor for gum diseases.

Genes may also play a role in periodontitis. Researchers found that dozens of genes contribute to gum disease risk. Stress and poor eating habits can also raise the risk of periodontitis.

Can periodontal disease be cured?

The answer is yes! However, early detection and treatment are of utmost importance here. Periodontitis is most reversible in its early stages. Those with gene-related risk factors are affected. For this reason, dental professionals want to know their patients’ medical and family histories.

This knowledge allows dentists to monitor at-risk patients actively. As a result, early intervention and prevention can be implemented.

What are the treatment options for periodontitis?

Early detection of periodontitis increases the chances of reversibility. Surgical treatment may not even be necessary if your dentist catches it early. If this is the case, your oral healthcare provider may only need to perform scaling and root planing.

Modern ultrasonic scalers allow for a more thorough cleaning of the teeth and gums. In turn, this removes a greater amount of plaque than regular brushing and flossing. As long as you maintain good oral hygiene at home, your gums will be able to recover and heal. Additionally, the cleaner your pearly whites are, the less likely you are to experience a recurrence of gum disease.

Keeping your mouth healthy will reduce your chances of developing periodontitis.

Even younger people can develop periodontitis, although it is more common in older adults. If your gums bleed, you shouldn’t panic, but you should be concerned.

If you notice any signs of periodontal disease, consult your Raleigh Periodontist right away. By doing this, your dentist has a better chance of reversing the damage. For more information or to schedule an appointment, please contact Tar Heel Periodontics and Implant Dentistry.

Tar Heel Periodontics and Implant Dentistry
Phone: (919) 844-7140
cash, credit card
10931 Strickland Rd.
Raleigh, NC 27615

6 Tips for Gum Disease Prevention | Raleigh NC Periodontist

More and more research is surfacing about gum disease, making prevention more critical than ever. The term “gum disease” refers to an infection of the gum tissue and surrounding bones. The gum disease, gingivitis, affects only the gums.

A more severe form of gum disease, periodontitis, affects both the gums and the bones that support your teeth. There is a link between gum disease and serious conditions like heart disease and stroke. Most people don’t realize they have gum disease until it’s too late, so it’s important to take extra precautions.

You can prevent gum disease by following these six tips.

1. Maintain good oral hygiene

Although it may seem obvious, good oral hygiene is essential for maintaining healthy gums. When it comes to gum disease, brushing your teeth is not sufficient. Flossing should be incorporated into your daily routine to prevent plaque from building up on your teeth and damaging your gums. You may also benefit from using an antimicrobial mouthwash that contains little to no alcohol.

2. Increasing your intake of vitamin C

Gum disease has been linked to vitamin C deficiencies. Increasing your intake of vitamin C will not only help prevent gum disease from developing, but it can also treat and, in some cases, cure it. In addition to its healing properties, vitamin C is also capable of stabilizing loosened teeth and preventing gum swelling and receding.

3. Follow a healthy diet

Maintaining a healthy diet is one of the best ways to prevent gum disease. You should avoid sugary foods and drinks since they can cause tooth decay and gum disease. It is important to eat a balanced and nutritious diet that is rich in vitamins and minerals, as this will boost your immunity and help prevent many diseases, including gum disease.

4. Make sure you stay hydrated.

Hydration is essential for preventing gum disease and promoting overall health. Water helps produce more saliva, which helps fight off bacteria that can cause gum infection.

5. Give up smoking

Smoking cigarettes and using tobacco products can lead to countless health problems, including gum disease. The use of tobacco products can cause serious damage to your gum tissues, so you should avoid them at all costs.

6. Be sure to see your dentist on a regular basis.

The importance of visiting your dentist regularly cannot be overstated. In order to prevent gum disease, it is advisable to have your teeth professionally cleaned on a regular basis. It is also important to visit your Raleigh Periodontist regularly to ensure there are no warning signs of gum disease or other dental problems.

In addition to harming your oral health, gum disease can also have a detrimental effect on your overall health. Taking the above recommendations into consideration will lower your risk of developing gum disease. If you would like more information or tips regarding the prevention of gum disease, please contact Tar Heel Periodontics and Implant Dentistry to schedule an appointment.

Tar Heel Periodontics and Implant Dentistry
Phone: (919) 844-7140
cash, credit card
10931 Strickland Rd.
Raleigh, NC 27615

The Different Types of Gum Grafts | Best Periodontist Raleigh NC

Dentists and specialists see gum disease as one of the most prevalent dental problems today. In many cases, soft tissue problems are not recognized by millions of Americans until they visit a dentist or periodontist. In order to improve your smile, an expert will recommend one of various types of gum grafts based on the severity of your case. Learn more about these unique procedures and what to expect.

Gingival Flap Surgery

A periodontist may recommend this type of procedure if gum disease progresses and bacteria spreads under the soft tissue. The procedure involves lifting the tissue and cleaning the infected area to prevent worsening side effects (e.g., bone loss, tooth loss). Afterwards, the gums are secured to encourage reattachment.

Soft Tissue Graft

Gum recession is one of the most obvious symptoms of periodontal disease. As a result, your tooth structure and root become exposed, increasing the risk of tooth sensitivity and infection. In order to prevent more serious problems, your periodontist can attach tissue from the roof of your mouth or another nearby area to your receding gums. By doing so, the exposed tooth roots will be covered, and further gum recession will be prevented.

Crown Lengthening

While crown lengthening is commonly viewed as a cosmetic procedure, it is also excellent for treating gum disease. An overgrowth of soft tissue can make teeth appear short and “stubby.” Many individuals call this type of smile a “gummy smile.” Periodontists can remove unnecessary gum tissue and expose more of your natural tooth root. When you need a customized restoration (e.g., a dental crown), but lack sufficient tooth structure, this can be extremely beneficial.

Gum Regeneration

Your periodontist may recommend gingival flap surgery or gum regeneration if your soft tissues are infected. Instead of securing your gum tissue to your teeth, this process allows it to naturally regenerate. The entire procedure involves placing a bone graft into the area after folding back your gums to restore and create a healthier, more aesthetically pleasing smile.

Keeping your gums healthy is just as critical as keeping your teeth healthy if you want to avoid expensive and timely procedures. With a gum graft performed by a local periodontist, you can feel more confident and comfortable with your smile moving forward. 

We specialize in treating issues related to your overall gum health. We invite you to contact our periodontal office today to schedule an appointment.

Tar Heel Periodontics and Implant Dentistry
Phone: (919) 844-7140
cash, credit card
10931 Strickland Rd.
Raleigh, NC 27615

A Periodontist’s Role in Gum Disease | Periodontist Raleigh NC

As most of us are aware, regular oral hygiene is essential to prevent cavities and maintain a bright white smile. Did you know that your teeth, gums, and surrounding bone structure play a critical role in the health of your entire body? In particular, the gums are remarkable elements of strength, but unlike other kinds of tissues, they do not regenerate when damaged, especially in the event of gum disease.

Infection of the gums and the tissues that hold your teeth in place is known as gum disease, also known as gum recession or periodontal disease. As the name implies, receded gums pull away from teeth, exposing sensitive areas and even the root of the tooth. In addition to creating convenient cavities for bacteria to settle in, gum recession can also lead to tissue and bone structure damage, bleeding, and sometimes even the loss of the tooth itself.

What causes periodontal disease?

There is a direct correlation between bad habits and periodontal disease. Those who neglect regular brushing and flossing are ideal candidates for the buildup of bacteria and plaque, which may result in the onset of disease. Symptoms of periodontal disease include bad breath, swollen or tender gums, and bleeding gums. The most concerning aspect of this disease is that it is usually painless and can be undetected until it has already spread.

There are a number of factors that contribute to this condition, including brushing your teeth too hard, genetics, grinding your teeth, and poor dental hygiene. It is always advisable to consult a periodontist in order to address the issue, regardless of its origin. Periodontists are dentists who have completed at least three additional years of residency training in the diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of gum disease. Additionally, these specialists are trained to place dental implants.

What are the advantages of seeing a periodontist over my regular dentist?

Make an appointment with a periodontist as soon as possible if you have or suspect that you have gum disease. Unlike traditional dentists, periodontists have extensive training beyond dental school and are well versed in state-of-the-art techniques for diagnosing and treating gum disease. Furthermore, they can perform plastic surgery in order to improve the appearance of your gums and smile, as well as detect oral cancer proactively.

A comprehensive periodontal examination can be requested during a regular dental visit. The examination will include probing and evaluating pockets beneath the gum line, as well as examining the color and firmness of your teeth and the overall symmetry of your bite. X-rays may also be taken by periodontists in order to examine the health and integrity of the supporting bone structure.

Additionally, periodontal probing can be performed, which entails placing a small measuring probe between the tooth and gum in order to determine the depth of existing pockets.

When is the right time to see a periodontist?

A recent study confirms that nearly half of adults over the age of 30 have gum disease. If the issue has not already progressed, some of these cases may be treated through your regular dentist. Keep an eye out for the following symptoms to help diagnose potential problems:

  • An alteration in the bite when chewing, speaking, or brushing. Different bite patterns can lead to long-term problems.
  • The most obvious signs of gum disease are red, swollen, or bleeding gums. In the event that you notice bleeding when brushing or flossing, you should consult a periodontist immediately to prevent minor problems from becoming more significant.
  • A loose tooth may also indicate an infection or periodontitis. The loss of a tooth should never be considered a minor inconvenience or a non-issue.
  • You may experience pain around or under the gums of a specific tooth if there is an infection near the root.

Prevention and treatment.

Sadly, receding gums do not grow back. However, you can prevent further recession, pain, damage, and the need for extensive surgery by taking preventative measures. A thorough cleaning can often help treat milder forms of gum recession by removing excess plaque and tartar on your teeth, as well as killing bacteria remaining on your teeth with specialized antibodies.

You can also prevent gum recession by taking care of what you already have. It is simply a matter of brushing and flossing at least twice a day and having regular dental checkups at least twice a year. Maintain a consistent healthy diet, refrain from smoking, and be aware of any abnormal changes to your teeth and mouth. 

Please contact our periodontal office today to schedule an appointment.

Tar Heel Periodontics and Implant Dentistry
Phone: (919) 844-7140
cash, credit card
10931 Strickland Rd.
Raleigh, NC 27615