Our Blog

What should we blog about?

August 23rd, 2019

As a patient at Peninsula Periodontal Associates, your opinion matters! Dr. Pope, Dr. Pickering, and Dr. Lewis and our team love hearing what our patients think about our practice and the services we provide, and now we want to know, what do you think we should blog about?

Perhaps there’s a treatment you’ve always wanted to know about, or you’d like to learn about a specific way to improve your health and smile. Whatever your idea, we’d love to hear about it! You can let us know by posting here or on our Facebook page!

Treating Gum Recession with Tissue Grafting

August 16th, 2019

If you have started to notice that your teeth are more sensitive to hot and cold, or if you actually seem to have a longer smile than you used to, it could be that receding gums have left more of your tooth and root area exposed. This condition is not uncommon. While periodontal disease is often the cause of receding gums, injury, aging, genetics, even overly energetic brushing—all can lead to gum recession.

This is a gradual process, but over time gum recession can lead to dissatisfaction with your appearance, discomfort and sensitivity, and even tooth loss. Luckily, there are several options available to restore the appearance and health of your gums. One of the most effective is tissue grafting.

In this procedure, a thin section of tissue is used to replace the gum tissue that has receded. This new tissue will serve to restore a healthy gumline and protect tooth structure and placement. The method we recommend will be based on doing what is best for the condition of your gums.

  • Pedicle Grafts

If you have a lot of gum tissue near the site to be repaired, a flap can be cut in the gum tissue close to the tooth being treated. That piece will be drawn over the root area and sutured into place.

  • Connective Tissue Grafts

When there is not enough gum tissue near the tooth needing treatment, tissue from beneath the skin on the roof of your mouth can be used. Your doctor will create a flap, remove some connective tissue, and reattach the flap. The connective tissue will be sutured to the gum tissue surrounding the exposed root. This is the most common procedure used for grafting.

  • Free Gingival Grafts

If your original gum tissue is very thin, more tissue might be needed for a graft. In this case, tissue will be removed from the roof of the mouth and sutured in place on your gum.

  • Other Options

Other options such as donor grafts and specially treated collagen grafts may be considered if, for some reason, it wouldn’t be practical to use your own tissue.

Mild cases of gum recession might be helped without surgery, but, if a gum graft is necessary, call Dr. Pope, Dr. Pickering, and Dr. Lewis at our San Mateo, CA office. We will be happy to discuss the procedure and address any concerns you might have. Don’t be put off by the prospect of oral surgery. We will make this procedure as comfortable as possible using minimally invasive techniques. We will provide a prescription for pain medication, if needed, and tips for taking care of yourself gently afterward. Most of all, we can offer the best medical and cosmetic options for your individual smile if gum recession treatment is recommended. Our goal is the same as yours: to improve both the appearance and the health of your smile.

Does flossing hurt your gums?

August 9th, 2019

Ideally, it should never hurt when you floss your teeth. But if you haven’t flossed in a long while or don’t do it regularly, you may experience sore or bleeding gums. You should floss every day to avoid pain and maintain the best oral hygiene. In the meantime, there are a few things you can do to make flossing a little more pleasant.

Be Gentle

If your gums are sensitive, take your time and be gentle while flossing. Rough flossing can lead to more irritation and soreness. Also, daily flossing should help your gums become acclimated to the practice, and as a result, irritation should decrease over time.

Use an Alternative Method

If you still feel discomfort after being gentle, an alternative method of flossing may work better for you. A water floss machine or Waterpik can dislodge food particles and plaque without irritating your gums. Also, some brands of floss have a soft coating that make them less harsh and harmful to your gums.

Many people tend to forget or skip flossing, but it is one of the most important steps your dental hygiene routine and shouldn’t be neglected. If you are consistent about flossing, your gums should become used to it and won’t be so irritated in time.

For more flossing tips, schedule an appointment at our San Mateo, CA office and ask Dr. Pope, Dr. Pickering, and Dr. Lewis or a member of our team!

When should I see a periodontist?

August 2nd, 2019

There are several conditions that might require a visit to the periodontist. Periodontists like Dr. Pope, Dr. Pickering, and Dr. Lewis are specialists in the treatment of gum disease and problems affecting the tissue surrounding the teeth. Your general dentist might recommend seeing a periodontist for any of these conditions:

  • Early signs of periodontal disease

If you notice that your gums are red or swollen, or if you see bleeding when you brush and floss, a visit to your dentist is in order. He or she can let you know if you need to schedule a trip to the periodontist, or if you can be treated by your regular dentist.

  • Receding gums

When gums recede, your teeth experience not only more sensitivity, but also possible bone and tissue loss. Periodontists are skilled in treating gum recession with gum grafts and regeneration therapy if required.

  • Pain when eating or sensitivity to heat and cold

These symptoms could be a sign that pockets have formed in the gum tissue as periodontal disease causes the gums to pull away from the teeth. Pockets around the teeth can hold bacteria, leading to infection, or expose parts of the root, leading to tooth sensitivity.

  • Your bite has shifted or you notice loose teeth

As gum disease progresses, the gums pull away from the teeth, leaving the bone and connective tissue exposed to infection. Infection can cause loss of the bone structure supporting the teeth, leading to loose teeth or a change in your normal bite.

  • If you are considering a dental implant

Periodontists will make sure the underlying bone is healthy and has enough density for an implant, can build up the bone if necessary with augmentation procedures, and will place the implant in the bone.

Finally, if you smoke, have a family history of gum disease, or have a systemic disease such as diabetes or heart disease, an evaluation by a periodontist is a good idea. Often, the early stages of periodontal disease are invisible. Frequent checkups with your regular dentist will help prevent periodontal disease before it develops. And if your general dentist recommends an evaluation at our San Mateo, CA office, rest assured that you will be treated by a doctor with the training and knowledge necessary to help you to the best possible outcome for both your smile and your overall health!

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