Roham Rafat, DDS, MS of Valley Dental Health is specialist in periodontics and perio-prosthodontics. He is the only periodontist in the Hunt Valley area, and one of only a few periodontists trained in perio-prosthodontics in the greater Baltimore area. Dr. Rafat’s specialty training allows us to provide full care for the treatment of gum disease as well as the replacement of missing teeth and other periodontal concerns.
What Causes Gum Disease?
Periodontal disease is a term that encompasses both gingivitis (gum disease) and periodontitis (disease of the gum, bone, and other supporting structures of the tooth). Along with caries (cavities) it is one of the leading causes for tooth loss. More than three-quarters of adults are affected by gum disease, which is mostly caused by bacterial plaque build-up. Other contributing factors to gum disease may include teeth grinding, TMJ dysfunction, tobacco use, hormonal changes (as in pregnancy or menopause), and poor nutrition.
Common signs of gum disease include:
- Red, swollen or sore gums
- Bleeding gums
- Receding gums
- Loose teeth
- Mouth sores or pus between gums and teeth
- Bad breath (halitosis)
- Changes in the fit of dentures
How To Prevent Gum Disease
The best way to prevent gum disease is with good oral health routines, regular visits to the dentist and a healthy diet. Removing plaque before it hardens into tartar can prevent gum irritation and gum disease.
During routine dental visits, our dentists carefully screen for signs and symptoms of gum disease. When caught early, gum disease is easily treatable and even reversible. It is important to treat gum disease in its early stages to prevent progression to periodontitis, which is more difficult to treat. Dr. Izadi and Dr. Rafat provide easy, practical advice for the at home care of teeth and gums.
Gum Disease Treatment
Dr. Rafat offers several treatment options for periodontal disease. Patients with early signs of gum disease may benefit from a deep teeth cleaning known as scaling and root planning. During this procedure, the dentist will remove plaque and tartar from the deep pockets of the gum. Patients who have advanced signs of gum disease may require more intense treatment or surgery.
Dr. Rafat also uses Arestin®, an powerful antibiotic, for gum disease treatment. Arestin® is used during scaling and root planing procedures to kill bacteria deep within pockets below the gumline. Arestin® is better than an oral antibiotic because it concentrates treatment only where you need it.
Replacing Missing Teeth
As a periodontist and perio-prosthodontist, Dr. Rafat offers numerous options for the replacement of missing teeth. Among those choices are dental implants and implant supported dentures, offering them most natural-like aesthetics and function.
Cosmetic Gum Surgery
The appearance of the gingiva (gums) is just as important to the overall smile as the appearance of the teeth. The soft tissue frames the teeth, and it is necessary that both are in health and harmony to create a natural, beautiful smile.
If you are unhappy with the appearance of your smile or if you have a gummy smile, you may be a candidate for cosmetic gum surgery. A gum lift is a procedure that involves reshaping or removing part of the gum to reveal more tooth structure, enhance the appearance of the teeth and improve your overall smile.