Periodontal disease (gum disease) does not only affect your oral health by causing gum tissue recession and tooth loss. Left untreated, it can also result in systemic health concerns.
Board-certified periodontist Rick Heard at Gulf Coast Periodontics can provide safe, gentle gum surgery to treat your gum tissue and prevent serious health issues.
Need expert gum tissue care? Here's why you should visit our Victoria, TX, periodontal office rather than a traditional dentist...
Dental Lasers in Action
Periodontal Disease Is More Common Than You Think
What is Gum Disease?
Periodontal disease, also known as gum disease, can develop when the gums become infected. Bacteria from plaque and calculus can irritate the gums, ultimately causing them to separate from the teeth. These pockets can harbor infection-causing bacteria and cause plaque to spread below the gum line, affecting both the soft and hard tissue supporting the teeth. If left untreated, gum disease can result in a tooth infection and, in severe cases, tooth loss.
Types of Procedures
To address gum disease, we offer a variety of surgical procedures to help manage symptoms and preserve your oral health, including pocket reduction and regenerative treatment. After evaluating your smile, we can design a customized treatment plan tailored to your needs.
Due to inflammation, your gums can loosen and begin to detach from your teeth and underlying bone. This process creates pockets of tissue that can foster the growth of infection-causing bacteria. During a pocket reduction procedure, we can gently pull back the gums from the teeth to remove bacterial deposits and affected tissue. Dr. Heard may also smooth the tooth roots to prevent bacteria from collecting in the future. As a final defense against infection, we can flush the area with an anti-bacterial solution before reattaching the gums to the tooth surface.
To help reverse damage caused by gum disease and save compromised teeth, Dr. Heard may recommend a regenerative treatment. During your procedure, we can eliminate bacteria and affected tissue, and place a bone graft to stimulate bone regrowth. We can also apply special proteins that can promote tissue regeneration, helping to improve your oral health. These treatments can minimize the size of periodontal pockets to help protect you from serious complications in the future.
To provide the highest quality care, our office is equipped with the latest in dental technology, including a Waterlase Express™ laser and LANAP®. Depending upon your needs, we can incorporate laser technology into your treatment plan to help you achieve comprehensive results. Typically, lasers are more suitable for advanced cases of gum disease. However, they can also benefit patients who may not be eligible for surgery because of conditions such as a bleeding disorder or an autoimmune disease.
To help restore your oral health, we can reduce the size of periodontal pockets, eliminate infection-causing bacteria below the gum line, and implant a bone graft or healing proteins to stimulate tissue regrowth.
Benefits of Laser Treatment
In addition to being a minimally-invasive form of treatment, dental lasers can:
- Result in higher precision and less trauma and bleeding
- Minimize discomfort during and after the procedure
- Eliminate the need for sutures
- Accelerate healing and recovery
- Provide an effective alternative for patients with compromised immune systems
- Help to generate the growth of new tissue
During your consultation, Dr. Heard can determine whether a laser treatment is best for your needs.
Ensuring Your Comfort and Safety
For maximum comfort, we can administer intravenous (IV) sedation during your procedure. To ensure your safety a board certified anesthesiologist from South Texas Anesthesia Group will be present to monitor your health and modify the level of sedation as needed.
Recovery and Treatment Timeline
You may experience mild soreness and discomfort after surgery. However, these minor side effects should subside within three to five days after treatment. Most patients can return to normal activities within 10 to 14 days. Any pain can be managed with over-the-counter medications.
For the first week or so, you should maintain a soft foods diet and use an oral hygiene rinse instead of brushing your teeth. To ensure a smooth recovery, we can provide you with detailed at-home care instructions to follow after surgery.
Preserve Your Smile
Dr. Heard and his team offer a wide range of customized periodontal treatments to help patients achieve optimal oral health. As timely care is the most effective way to protect your smile from tooth loss, it is critical to contact our office for a periodontal appointment if you have gum disease. To find out more about our services or to schedule a consultation, contact our Victoria practice online or call us today at (361) 573-1014.
Dr. Rick Heard
Dr. Heard is board-certified in periodontology and dental implant surgery with over 15 years of experience in the field. He is also a member of multiple prestigious organizations, including:
- The American Academy of Periodontology
- The American Dental Association
- The McGuire Institute
Find out if you are a candidate for dental implants by requesting an appointment online or calling (361) 214-2151 today.