Comprehensive Periodontics in Minnetonka, MN

senior couple at homeGum health is vital for everyone to live well. Keeping teeth and gums clean by regularly brushing and flossing can help avoid complications down the road. However, while the benefits of establishing good dental hygiene habits are widely known, gum disease is still a common condition experienced by many adults. As an expert in the field, Dr. Foster has a wealth of knowledge and educational resources and will discuss each option along with its advantages and disadvantages.

At J. Paul Foster DDS, our entire staff is dedicated tomi ensuring your comfort and confidence, from helping you feel at ease in the waiting room to educating you about oral health. We believe you should have all the information you need to participate in treatment decisions to understand how to maintain your health for a lifetime. Call us for more information today!


Why Choose a Periodontist

beautiful senior woman closeup portrait at homeMany dental patients show signs of periodontal disease, and recent data suggests there may be a connection between chronic diseases and periodontal disease. If you have moderate or severe periodontal disease or other complex issues, a highly trained specialist like Dr. Foster can diagnose and treat the disease, decreasing your risk of related health problems.

Periodontists must complete training beyond the requirements of dental school. They receive extensive training in the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of periodontal disease, placement of dental implants, and the treatment of oral inflammation. Dr. Foster has completed this training and also has a Masters in Dentistry so that you can rest assured you’re in qualified hands.

Gum Disease and Treatment

Grandson embracing his grandparents in living roomGum disease is an oral infection that causes inflammation, tenderness, and bad breath which threaten the soft tissue and bone of the mouth. Gum disease develops when bacteria are allowed to remain in the mouth and form a sticky film or plaque on the teeth. Plaque can harden into tartar to form an impenetrable shell over the bacteria, allowing it to colonize and attack the gum tissue and damage teeth. Habits such as tobacco use, as well as some medications, can increase the chances of gum disease developing. However, gum disease is common and often due to a lack of proper oral hygiene and the absence of professional treatment.

Gum disease treatment is highly effective, but it’s essential to know that getting earlier treatment typically results in better outcomes. Dr. Foster offers a range of treatment options, both surgical and non-surgical, depending on the severity of the gum disease. We’ll work with you to determine which treatments are right for you, and that will fit your budget and lifestyle. We also offer Nitrous Oxide during your procedures to address any anxiety. Perhaps the most important thing to know about gum disease is that the earlier it’s treated, the better.

Surgical Treatments for Periodontal Disease

Periodontal disease spreads like autoimmune infections. As bacteria grow further into the smile, we produce antibodies to fight the infection, and the reactions of the antibodies and bacteria begin to erode gum and bone tissue. The only way to stop this decay is by removing the infection first.

With many years of experience performing periodontal surgeries, Dr. Foster has the skills and expertise needed to provide the highest quality of care. The following are surgical procedures most commonly performed by a periodontist.

  • Gum grafts can repair gum tissue or cosmetically enhance the appearance of the smile. This procedure involves taking healthy tissue, usually from the roof of the mouth, and surgically attaching it to the gum area that needs treatment. As it heals, the healthy grafted tissue restores the treated area.
  • Bone grafts are used to restore bone and soft tissues that have disintegrated due to the progression of gum disease. The procedure involves getting between the gums and teeth and thoroughly cleaning the infected area. Then, any holes that have developed in the bone are filled with the bone grafting material (natural or synthetic) and covered with a protective barrier then stitched back into place. 
  • Flap surgery is a procedure used to treat moderate or advanced gum disease. During this surgery, we temporarily separate the gums from the teeth, folding them back. This provides greater access to the infected area. All inflamed tissue is then removed from the area, including between the teeth and from any holes in the teeth. Then we perform scaling and root planing to remove tartar and plaque. Finally, the gum tissue is repositioned and stitched into place.
  • Dental crown lengthening is a procedure that removes and reshapes excess gum tissue, exposing more of the natural tooth. The procedure can be performed to the entire gum line or just one tooth. Often a cosmetic procedure, crown lengthening can also be used in certain circumstances to expose more tooth structure to support another dental restoration (e.g., a crown or bridge).

More About Crown lengthening

Crown lengthening is a procedure to remove excess gum tissue from the affected teeth, correcting the “gummy” smile. During the procedure, gum tissue and bone are re-contoured to expose more of the natural tooth. It can be performed on multiple teeth, a single tooth, or on the entire gum line, resulting in an aesthetically pleasing smile. Here are some of the most common reasons that patients undergo crown lengthening:

Restore Damaged Teeth: Damage can be caused by a number of things including decay, trauma and periodontal disease. When teeth break beneath the gumline, crown lengthening can be used to prepare the area and restore the damage.

Space for Dental Crowns: Crown lengthening creates space between the supporting jawbone and a dental crown, which prevents the new crown from damaging bone and gum tissues once it is in place.

Cosmetic: Extra gum tissue can make your teeth look unnaturally short and small, but it also increases the gum’s susceptibility to periodontal infections. Removal of excess gum tissue restores a balanced, healthy look while improving the aesthetic appearance of your smile.

Crown Lengthening is also beneficial as preparation for restorative or cosmetic procedures. It is a standard and versatile procedure that has many compelling benefits, and the many people who have had this surgery are delighted with the results.

The Oral Systemic Connection

Portrait on a nice looking manCavities and gum disease result when bacteria colonize and create plaque that erodes teeth and inflames gum tissues. If the plaque is not removed regularly, it calcifies into tartar and contributes to advanced gum disease with serious repercussions to many aspects of your overall health. Harmful oral bacteria can easily reach the rest of the body through oral tissues and contribute to many health ailments such as chronic, low-grade infections.

Beyond losing teeth, research is showing more and more that gum disease has broader implications on overall health. It is linked to diabetes, heart disease, and rheumatoid arthritis, to name a few. The inflammation associated with gum disease may be an underlying factor in developing other systemic diseases. Inflammation can also cause complications with other surgeries like joint replacement. Before you undergo any major procedure, be sure to evaluate and treat any gum disease issues. That’s why it’s essential to visit the dentist regularly and have gum disease treated before it becomes a problem.

Improve Your Oral Health with Expert Periodontal Care

Maybe you’ve always wished for a better smile, or maybe one of our referring doctors sent you to us for a periodontal procedure. No matter how you found us, our Minnetonka team is here to help. Dr. Foster specializes in periodontal treatment so you can overcome oral health challenges and achieve the healthy, vibrant smile you’ve always wanted. We are dedicated to helping you achieve optimal dental health in a pleasant and relaxed environment. Contact us today to learn how we can help you get past gum disease and love your smile!


Contact Us

We encourage you to contact us with any questions or comments you may have. Please call our office or use the quick contact form below.