All these things can be signs of gum (periodontal) disease. And while these symptoms might be only slightly annoying right now, they can cause worse things over time. Like infections. Or losing teeth. Periodontal disease may even increase your risk of heart disease. That’s why it’s important not to ignore these warning signs.
At Cleveland Clinic, we’re here to help you get control of (or reverse) your gum disease. We’ll help you find treatment options that work best for your oral hygiene needs and goals. So you can keep putting your best smile forward.
Why Choose Cleveland Clinic for Periodontics Care?
You may feel a little nervous about needing gum treatment. That’s totally normal. We make your experience as comfortable and stress-free as possible. We listen to your concerns, answer your questions and go over what you can expect before we even start treatment. And we offer different anesthesia and sedation options, so you can find one that works best for you.
Our periodontist works closely with your dentist and with providers from other specialties, depending on your needs. Our team-based approach to care allows us to give you the most personalized treatment with excellent results.
We treat all kinds of gum disease, infections, bone loss and other conditions. From mild gum infections or receding gums to more complex conditions (like gum disease from radiation therapy), our team is here to help. Meet our team.
In-person visits are strongly preferred, but we can sometimes do a follow-up virtual visit. These online appointments let you meet with your provider using a smartphone, tablet or computer.
U.S. News & World Report consistently ranks Cleveland Clinic a top hospital in the nation. Newsweek has also named us a top hospital in the world.
Periodontal Disease Evaluations at Cleveland Clinic
You hear a lot about dental care and avoiding tooth decay. But you have probably haven’t heard nearly as much about keeping your gums healthy. And that’s just as important.
While your teeth are your mouth’s most noticeable superstars, your gums play a key supporting role. They protect your teeth and keep them in line by forming a tight seal around them. Sometimes that seal can get loose or broken. And that’s where periodontics comes in.
There are many reasons why your regular (general) dentist may recommend you see a periodontist for gum disease treatment. Periodontists treat all sorts of gum and jaw issues, like:
- Gum recession: When your gums pull away from your teeth.
- Gingivitis: Mild gum disease with red, swollen gums.
- Periodontitis: Severe inflammation of your gums that gets worse over time.
- Infections and abscesses: Caused by viruses and bacteria.
- Cosmetic treatments: Can improve the look of your gums.
What to expect at your first visit
When you come to Cleveland Clinic for periodontal disease care, you can be assured you have an expert on your team — and one who will continue to work alongside your general dentist to keep them in the loop.
Sometimes, you may need to see your periodontist just for a little while. Other times, you may need to see them long-term — especially if you have gum disease.
At your first visit, your provider will ask you to share what’s been going on with your gums and why you’re here for your appointment. Hearing you explain this in your own words is helpful to your provider as they start to build your personalized treatment plan.
You’ll also want to be prepared to talk about your personal and family medical history. And don’t be surprised if your provider asks you about your diet and if you smoke. All of this can play a role in periodontal disease.
While you’re here, your provider will also take a look at your mouth, teeth and gums. They’ll look for plaque, inflammation, bleeding and loose teeth. And they’ll also measure the depth of any periodontal pockets.
Your provider might also recommend these tests:
- Biopsy: Takes gum tissue samples to look for abnormal cells under a microscope.
- Dental x-rays: Take images that show your bite and bone structure.
- Blood and saliva (spit) tests: Check for signs of infection and other issues.
Meet our periodontics team
At Cleveland Clinic, we believe in team-based care. While your general dentist and periodontist will lead your care plan, you may also see different providers from different specialties if you need more treatments related to periodontics.
All members of your care team are handpicked for your needs. Some of these other providers could include:
- Oral surgeons.
- Dental hygienists.
- Endodontists (root canal specialists).
Who Treat Periodontal Disease
Periodontal Disease Treatment at Cleveland Clinic
Our periodontics team takes the results from your evaluation to pinpoint what’s causing your gum issues. Then, they work with you to craft a highly personalized treatment plan. Some of the treatments might involve oral surgery. Some may not. Your provider will talk with you about what they feel will work best. Depending on your needs, you may have:
- Gum graft surgery: Treats gum recession and covers exposed teeth roots.
- Tooth scaling and root planning: Deep cleaning treatment for periodontitis.
- Dental bone graft: Treats bone loss in the jaw.
- Pocket reduction surgery (gingival flap surgery): Repairs gum pockets caused by periodontitis.
- Tooth extraction: Removes teeth that are causing infection or gum damage.
- Dental implants: Replace missing teeth with an artificial tooth on an implanted screw.
- Frenectomy: Repairs a lip or tongue tie.
- Surgical crown lengthening: Adjusts broken tooth size by removing gum and bone so a crown can fit right.
- Smile lift: Removes excess gum tissue (and sometimes bone) that covers teeth when you smile (gummy smile).
- Sedation dentistry: Keeps you comfortable and relaxed during treatment.
Taking the Next Step
Just like your teeth, your gums also deserve the best care. After all, they play a big part in keeping you smiling at the world. So when you have gum infections, disease or injury, you’ll want healthcare providers who have what it takes to get them back in top shape. Cleveland Clinic’s periodontics team is here for you. We offer many different treatments to clean and repair your gums. And we do it in the most compassionate and comfortable way possible.
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