Periodontics is a specialty of dentistry that centers mostly on the prevention and treatment of gum disease as well as the placement of dental implants. Dr. Pamela Cain of Today’s Dentistry in Knoxville, TN, places great emphasis on maintaining healthy gums for good dental health. Dr. Cain offers periodontal therapy to prevent and treat the signs and symptoms of gum disease and can coordinate advanced care with local periodontist and surgical partner Dr. Robert Cain. As a team we offer comprehensive, advanced treatment for all stages of gum disease, including LANAP® for periodontitis.
Gum disease affects an estimated 3 out of every 4 Americans and is the number one cause of tooth loss in adults. Gum disease is a serious condition that can contribute to more than just dental concerns including other health concerns such as heart disease and diabetes.
The best way to prevent gum disease is through routine dental care and maintenance that includes daily brushing and flossing as well as regular visits to the dentist for professional dental cleanings and examinations.
Causes & Symptoms of Gum Disease
There is no single cause or factor for gum disease. Common causes for gum disease include poor nutrition or oral hygiene, smoking or tobacco use, genetic predisposition, certain medications as well as hormonal changes, such as pregnancy or menopause.
Gum disease is a “silent disease”, meaning many patients with gum disease don’t experience pain or obvious symptoms until advanced stages of the condition. Patients with gum disease most commonly experience:
- Red, swollen or sore gums
- Bleeding gums when brushing or flossing
- Receding gums
- Loose teeth
- Mouth sores or pus between gums and teeth
- Bad breath (halitosis)
- Changes in the fit of dentures
Treating Gum Disease
Treatment for gum disease will vary based on the individual and their specific condition. Dr. Cain will make a careful review of the patient’s medical and dental history as well as perform a physical examination and series of diagnostic tests. Based on her findings, she will make a diagnosis and recommend a treatment strategy. Depending on the complexity of the problem, one or several treatments may be attempted before an effective approach is found.
The first step is often a deep teeth cleaning. During this procedure, Dr. Cain will remove plaque and tartar from the gum pockets. Anti-bacterial rinses and other aids may be prescribed for at home treatment. Patients who experience bleeding gums may benefit from visiting the dentist for more frequent cleanings until their issue resolves.
Other treatments may include laser dentistry, scaling and root planing or surgical procedures. In severe cases, Dr. Cain may coordinate specialized treatment with Dr. Robert Cain, a periodontist and our surgical partner, to bring the gums and mouth back to proper health. In addition, for patients seeking or in need of advanced periodontics, Dr. Cain offers OralDNA analysis and microscope dentistry. Especially beneficial for anyone suffering from chronic gum disease or concerned about their unique oral health risk factors, OralDNA® labs offers patients in depth analysis of bacteria present in the mouth. Drs. Pamela and Robert Cain can use this information to provide the most personalized dental care and oral hygiene advice possible for the maintenance of a healthy smile.
Replacing Missing Teeth
If you have loose or missing teeth as a result of gum disease, there are a number of options for replacement. Dr. Cain will recommend the most conservative treatment with the best esthetic and long term results. Treatment for missing teeth may include: dental implants, dental bridges, and dentures.
Restoring a functional smile will improve your appearance, your dental health and your quality of life. Dr. Cain offers personalized care that is tailored to your unique needs, taking a comprehensive approach for results that will be lasting, comfortable and natural looking.