What is Periodontal Disease?
Periodontal disease, also known as gum disease, is an infection that affects the gums and eventually the bone that supports the teeth. In the early stages, it is treatable, and in later stages, it can be controlled with proper maintenance. Periodontal disease begins when plaque builds up around the teeth and the bacteria from the plaque causes inflammation of the gums. When not treated, it is a progressive condition and can advance rapidly. Plaque forms on teeth every day and removing the plaque is vital to prevent gingivitis and gum disease. Brushing and flossing every day, in addition to professional cleanings and regular dental exams, are essential for prevention.
Signs and Symptoms
● Swollen, red, puffy, tender, or bleeding gums
● Receding gums
● Loose teeth
● New spaces between teeth
● Bad breath
● Pus around the teeth and gums
● Poor dental hygiene (plaque build up)
● Diabetes or medical condition
● Pregnancy or hormonal changes
● Genetic predisposition
Types Of Periodontal Disease
Gingivitis – Early/first stage of periodontal disease that can cause inflammation of the gums, including red, puffy gums that can bleed. Plaque is built up around the teeth containing bacteria that produce toxins that are irritating the gums.
Periodontitis – Mild to moderate stage of periodontal disease. At this stage, the plaque has hardened into calculus/tartar causing the gums to recede and pockets start to form. Signs of loss of bone support may be present.
Advanced Periodontal Disease – At this stage, periodontal disease has advanced causing damage to the gums and bone. Bone loss is present and risk of tooth loss.
Periodontal Procedures, Treatment, and Therapy
Professional Cleaning – For the treatment of gingivitis, our hygiene team will first comfortably remove any plaque, tartar and build up. Ultrasonic instruments are the mainstay of gentle, effective care.
Scaling and Root Planing – For this cleaning, we will numb your gums to remove the plaque and tartar from below the gumline comfortably. This type of cleaning may be achieved over a couple of visits and will help promote the healing of the gums. We will develop a strategy and maintenance program to meet your needs.
Home Care Instructions– Our team will provide you with techniques for proper home care, including product recommendations and nutritional guidelines.
Antibiotic Therapy – Oral antibiotics may be prescribed to reduce inflammation and aid in combating bacteria. Arestin is a topical antibiotic that may be applied in periodontal pocket after a cleaning.
Laser Gum Therapy – This treatment is for treating and preventing moderate periodontal disease. Laser therapy is effective in reducing gum pocket depth and removing bacteria. Laser technology also promotes faster healing. Read more about our laser dentistry here.
Grafting and Tissue Regeneration – To treat gum recession caused by periodontal disease, our office offers the latest technology. The Pinhole Surgical Technique is a minimally invasive treatment option for gum rejuvenation. The recovery is better than older techniques, and the results are long-lasting. Read more about gum recession treatment here.
Salivary diagnostic testing reveals an analyst of the bacteria in the mouth. This testing technology provides early detection of oral pathogens, personalization of periodontal treatment, and identifies related systemic health risks.
Research studies show a connection between periodontal disease and other health conditions. Some oral pathogens involved in periodontal disease are risk factors, or are associated with systemic diseases, including heart disease, diabetes, dementia, and some types of cancer. Treating, and preventing, gum disease can help in the management of other illnesses. Your overall health is important to us.
If you have any questions about periodontal disease or treatment, call our NYC office at (212) 974-8737. We care about your health and smile. Our team is here to help!