Laser-assisted treatment for gingivitis and periodontitis

WHAT CAUSES GUM DISEASE?

Our mouths are full of bacteria. These bacteria, along with mucus and other particles, constantly form a sticky, colorless ” plaque” on teeth. Brushing and flossing help get rid of plague. Plaque that are not removed can harden and form “tartar” that brushing doesn’t clean. Only a professional cleaning by a dentist or dental hygienist can remove tartar.

Gingivitis

The longer plaque and tartar are on teeth, the more harmful they become. The bacteria cause inflammation of the gums that is called “gingivitis.” In gingivitis, the gums become red, swollen and can bleed easily. Gingivitis is a mild form of gum disease that can usually be reversed with daily brushing and flossing, and regular cleaning by a dentist or dental hygienist. This form of gum disease does not include any loss of bone and tissue that hold teeth in place.

Periodontitis

When gingivitis is not treated, it can advance to “periodontitis” (which means “inflammation around the tooth. “In periodontitis, gums pull away from the teeth and form spaces (called “pockets”) that become infected. The body’s immune system fights the bacterial as the plaque spreads and grows below the gum line. Bacterial toxins and the body’s natural response to infection start to break down the bone and connective tissues that hold teeth in place. If not treated, the bones, gums, and tissue that support the teeth are destroyed. The teeth may eventually become loose and have to be removed.

Oral Health Tooth diagram

WHO GETS GUM DISEASE?

People usually don’t show signs of gum disease until they are in their 30s – 40s. Men are more likely to have gum disease than women. Although teenagers rarely develop periodontitis, the milder form of gum disease. Most commonly, gum disease develops when plaque is allowed to build up along and under the gum line.

How do I know if I have gum disease?

Symptoms of gum disease are as follows:

  • Bad breath that won’t go away
  • Red or swollen gums
  • Tender or bleeding gums
  • Painful chewing
  • Loose teeth
  • Sensitive teeth
  • Receding gums or longer appearing teeth

Any of these symptons may be a serious problem, which should be checked by a dentist. At your dental visit the dentist or hygienist should:

  • Ask about your medical history to identify underlying conditions or risk factor (such as smoking) that may contribute to gum disease.
  • Examine your gums and note any signs of inflammation.
  • Use a tiny ruler called a ‘probe’ to check for and measure any pockets. In a healthy mouth, the depth of these pockets is usually between 1 and 3 millimeters. This test for pocket depth is usually painless.

The dentist or hygienist may also:

  • Take an x-ray to see whether there is any bone loss.
  • Refer you to a periodontist. Periodontist are experts in diagnosis and treatment of gum disease and may provide you with treatment options that are not offered by your dentist.

HOW IS GUM DISEASE TREATED?

The main goal of treatment is to control the infection. The number and types of treatment may vary, depending on the extent of the gum disease. Any type of treatment requires that the patient keep up good daily care at home. The doctor may also suggest changing certain behaviors, such as quit smoking, is a way to improve treatment outcome.

Treatments range from non-surgical therapies that control bacterial growth to surgery to restore supportive tissues.

NON-SURGICAL TREATMENTS FOR GUM DISEASE

Treatments for gum disease that don’t involve surgery includes:

  • Professional dental cleaning: During a typical checkup your dentist or dental hygienist will remove the plaque and tartar (plaque that builds up and hardens on the tooth surface and can only be removed with professional cleaning) from above and below the gum line of all teeth. If you have some signs of gum disease, your dentist may recommend professional dental cleaning more than twice-a-year.
  • Scaling and root planing: This is a deep-cleaning, non-surgical procedure, done under a local anaesthetia, whereby plaque and tartar from above and below the gum line are scraped away (scaling) and rough spots on the tooth root are made smooth (planing). Smoothing the rough spots removes bacteria and provides a clean surface for the gums to re-attach to the teeth. Scaling and root planing is done if your dentist or periodontist determines that you have plaque and calculus (hardened plaque, also called tartar) under the gums that needs to be removed.

SURGICAL TREATMENTS FOR GUM DISEASE

Some treatments for gum disease are surgical. Some examples are:

  • Flap surgery/pocket reduction surgery. During this procedure the gums are lifted back and the tartar is removed. In some cases, irregular surfaces of the damaged bone are smoothed to limit areas where disease-causing bacteria can hide. The gums are then placed so that the tissue fits snugly around the tooth. This method reduces the size of the space between the gum and tooth, thereby decreasing the areas where harmful bacteria can grow and decreasing the chance of serious health problems associated with periodontal disease.
  • Bone graft. This procedure involves using fragments of your own bone, synthetic bone, or donated bone to replace bone destroyed by gum disease. The grafts serve as a platform for the re-growth of bone, which restores stability of teeth. New technology, called tissue engineering, encourages your own body to regenerate bone and tissue at an accelerated rate.
  • Soft tissue grafts. This procedure reinforces thin gums or fills in places where gums have receded. Grafted tissue, most often taken from the roof of the mouth, is stitched in place, adding tissue to the affected area.

MEDICATIONS

Medications may be used with treatment that includes scaling and root planning, but they cannot always take the place of surgery. Depending on how far the disease has progressed, the dentist or periodontist may still suggest surgical treatment. Long – term need for surgery and whether they are effective over a long period of time. Listed on the next page are some medications that are currently used.

Periodontal Flap Surgery

Receding gum tissue is the condition in which gum is no longer fully attached to the root, causing tooth sensitivity whilst eating too hot/cold, sweet/sour food. Revealed root makes the tooth look longer and unpleasant, as the arch is deformed.

CAUSES OF RECEDING GUM

Loss or recession of gum tissue can have a variety of causes, including:

  • Brushing your teeth too hard, or not in the correct way. It might also be due to natural lack of cells and tissues surrounding the root area.
  • When there are signs of gum recession, periodontal flap surgery needs to be carried out as soon as possible to keep a good-looking smile and prevent the pain whilst eating; also early treatment will help to avoid continuing diseases such as destruction of gum tissue and bone, loss of tooth, etc.

GRAFTING OF GUM

Gum grafting is the process of reconstructing the normal shape for the gum and teeth, recover damages and prevent gum recession from worsening which might cause the destruction of gum tissue and bone. Gum grafting surgery can cover the revealed root and regenerate gum tissue. During the surgery, doctors will use gum tissue from other area of the mouth to cover the revealed root. Surgery can be carried out on one or many teeth to bring harmony to the gumline and reduce tooth sensitivity.

Dr. Hung & Associates Dental Center

5 out of 5 stars based on 12 General reviews.

Our Latest Patient Testimonial

I cannot tell you how happy I am with the service and my dentist" "I came for deep cleaning. In America, my copay for deep cleaning would have been $600. But here without insurance, it was $180, bottom line. BUT, I also had a time bomb that I was ignoring. I had a molar that had no pain so I could ignore it. But it was in need of a root canal (turns out the tooth needed three root canals), a cap, and a crown. So I got that done too. That costed $442 here, but would have cost maybe >$2000 if one includes time off from work. Needless to say, not only WOULD I recommend this clinic, and the concept of dental tourism, I imagine I WILL be recommending it to all my family, friends, and work associates hopefully not beyond the point of being annoying. I cannot tell you how happy I am with the service and my dentist. I actually looked forward to my four visits for the procedures because of my dentist's ability to make me feel comfortable, that we were working on this together, and that step by step the difficult work would be done. As I mentioned, it turned out the tooth needed three root canals. After two of them, I was given the option of doing the third one the next day, or finishing same day. My dentist said that it would actually be better to do the third one third same day because of anesthesia and other reasons. Because she made me feel so confident during the first two, we successfully did the third one that day. My dentist worked from 2:15-7:30 on that. Tirelessly, methodically, and yet in such a positive way, like we were winning and would continue to win. In America, it would have been OMG everyone panic, take the whole week off of work, only one root canal a day."

- Paul

5 out of 5 stars on

Our Latest Patient Testimonial

I had five crowns and upper and lower partials done…quite a lot of dental work involved. My girlfriend had her teeth cleaned as well as a ” filler” to close the gap between two teeth. A friend of ours referred us to this clinic and I was quite impressed the moment we walked in. The entire stall was exceptionally friendly, professional and patient during my entire treatment. I cannot say enough about the wonderful experience I have had and will come back again (even just to say hello to the doctors and assistants). On a scale of one to five I would rate this clinic a 5*

- Denise Weersing

5 out of 5 stars on

Our Latest Patient Testimonial

My wife and I needed some fillings done and since we were already in Vietnam we chose Dr. Hung & Associates because of all the high reviews. First impression is that this dental office is immaculate. Their attention to detail and professionalism and care towards their patients is at a standard that is far beyond any dental office I've seen in the states. My wife couldnt speak high enough about this office. We would recommend this office to our friends and families and will definitely be coming back

- Le Trong Ky

5 out of 5 stars on

Our Latest Patient Testimonial

I had 2 wisdom teeth removed and 10 (small) cavities filled. It was fantastic! I am very uncomfortable going to the dentist generally but they did a great job. No pain whatsoever! In particular I want to recommend Dr. Vu Thi Phuong Lan, who did all dental work in my case and who is a fabulous dentist! The cost was very also reasonable. Very professional and client-focused. Real top quality work. I have nothing but praise for their work. It's a 5 minute walk from the tourist area, so that's convenient as well! If you need dental work done, this dental clinic is absolutely recommended

- Pascal Lieblich P

5 out of 5 stars on

Our Latest Patient Testimonial

I highly recommend Dr. Hung Dental Clinic Center. This is a great place for expats and offers competitive pricing with high quality service. A new location has recently been opened- this is the one that I went to. The facility is beautiful- modern, clean, high tech and friendly people. I felt comfortable throughout my appointment and felt that I was able to effectively communicate with both Dr. Hung and his staff. I will definitely be back again!

- Danica Ratte

5 out of 5 stars on

Our Latest Patient Testimonial

You have given me a new mouth !!! All I need now is a new body to go with it ! Though, it is a magnificent job you have done and at 77 years of age. I am confident I will never have to worry again. Most of all, thank you for your kindness and friendship.

- Dugald Fisher

5 out of 5 stars on

Our Latest Patient Testimonial

I was experiencing terrible pain from tooth ache and needed to see a dentist urgently. I looked at reviews online to see which dentist practice was the best and HD dental Center was top of the list. I can see why! The staff were really helpful and friendly from the moment I walked through the door. The dentist who did my root canal was very professional and caring. The rooms are extremely clean and hygenic. Also the prices were very reasonable. Really happy with the over all experience. I defintely reccommend this practice.

- Ashleigh Lewis

5 out of 5 stars on

Our Latest Patient Testimonial

I required a root canal, followed by a crown. I was very happy with the customer service aspect from the very beginning, with it being very helpful that I was able to communicate with the surgery in English. I found the staff very accommodating and considerate at all times. I had my initial appointment for the root canal on a saturday morning, followed by the crown fitting on sunday morning, and the final crown fitted on tuesday morning. At all times I was dealt with in a friendly, professional manner. Hygiene was of a high standard. I experienced no pain or discomfort following any of the work; also, I felt I was always being treated in a kind and gentle manner. Thank you very much.

- Tracy Scaly

5 out of 5 stars on

Our Latest Patient Testimonial

I cannot recommend this dentist highly enough to any westerners contemplating any form of dental work. It is clean and all staff are professional, helpful and extremely understanding. All techniques used are far superior to any dentist you will find in Australia. Do come and have your dentistry done here!

- Kelley S

5 out of 5 stars on

Our Latest Patient Testimonial

I am very happy with the clinic. They made you feel welcome and comfortable. The end result is much better than I ever imagined and the price was really cheap and affordable. I would recommend the clinic to anyone who needs work.

- Chris

5 out of 5 stars on

Our Latest Patient Testimonial

My first experience getting my teeth done during a busy business trip has been very much enhanced by good customer service and quality treatment here at Dr.Hung's clinic. Comparing to Thailand (where I am from originally), the price for the treatment I received i.e. root canal, one tooth cap and general teeth cleaning is very reasonable (335 USD for everything!). I would definitely recommend anyone who needs dental attention and will be passing through HCMC to visit Dr.Hung's office.

- Uranee

5 out of 5 stars on

Our Latest Patient Testimonial

The doctors are enthusiasm, caring and very professional. Bao Anh is absolutely satisfied with the services at Dr.Hung Dental Center.

- Bao Anh, Singer

5 out of 5 stars on