Gum disease or periodontal disease is an ongoing mouth infection that happens when infection surrounds the teeth. It can happen for a variety of reasons, including neglected oral health, heredity, and other health problems that can cause or worsen gum disease. There are several stages of gum disease and a plethora of reasons why people showing signs and symptoms of gum disease need to see a periodontist promptly.
Beyond causing pain, discomfort, sensitivity, swelling, bleeding, and loose teeth periodontal disease can lead to other diseases, too. There are a number of systemic links, including but not limited to: heart disease, stroke, osteoporosis, diabetes, kidney disease, pregnancy complications, and cancer.
Periodontal disease can be the result of ineffective removal of plaque and tartar on the teeth. When gums bleed easily and look red and swollen, this is the start of gingivitis. If allowed to progress, infection in the gums will result.
Our periodontist has a variety of ways to treat periodontal disease in its various stages of development. When periodontal disease has not yet progressed to the bone but is within the gum tissue, a scaling and root planing will remove the plaque and tartar that is present and may be all that is needed to arrest the disease and clear up the infection. Lasers are now being used to help with the scaling of the teeth for more effective results.
Periodontal disease that has progressed to the bone will require more aggressive treatment by our Forest Hills periodontist. When pockets start to form around the teeth, a pocket reduction procedure will be required. In this procedure, our periodontist will fold the gum tissue away from the teeth and clear away all bacteria. Any rough surfaces on the bone will also be smoothed down so that bacteria will not have a future place to hide. Then the gum tissue will be put in place again.
If you are suffering from gum disease, you need to be treated by a periodontist as soon as possible. Loss of teeth, as well as more chance of heart disease, stroke, prostatitis and respiratory disease, can result from untreated periodontal disease.
After periodontal disease has been treated, the gums may be uneven as a result of the damage that was done by the infection. Our periodontist in Forest Hills has treatments for this type of situation. If there is too much gum tissue, lasers can effectively remove the excess tissue and even out the gum line. If the gums have receded and are now exposing too much of the teeth, a grafting procedure can be performed to add to the gum line and fill it out.
Tooth loss that has occurred as a result of periodontal disease can be effectively treated by the placement of dental implants and bridges expertly fitted by our Forest Hills periodontist. It is good to know that should gum disease strike, there are treatments that will capably address the disease and the resulting damage.
Contact our periodontist in Forest Hills to find out about the treatment options for periodontal disease and to receive treatments as soon as possible to minimize the damage from this disease.
When left untreated, periodontal (gum) disease can inevitably lead to tooth loss. The term “periodontal” means “around the tooth.” Therefore, periodontal disease affects the gums and bone supporting the teeth.
The infection starts when the gums become inflamed due to bacteria in plaque, a sticky, colorless film that forms on your teeth. While this is often the main cause of periodontal disease, other factors can also be attributed to affecting the health of the gums and bone, including:
Smoking or Tobacco Use
Periodontal disease comes in many forms. Gingivitis is perhaps the mildest form of gum disease. While the gums become red, swollen and bleed easily, there is very little to no discomfort associated at this stage of the disease. Through a good oral hygiene regimen and treatment from your dentist, the results of gingivitis can be reversed.
Periodontitis is another form of periodontal disease and can be aggressive or chronic. Aggressive periodontitis displays rapid bone destruction and attachment loss in clinically healthy patients. Chronic periodontitis is one of the most common forms of periodontal disease and is frequently seen in adults. The stages progress slowly and can be recognized by gum recession and pocket formation. The progression of periodontitis can be stopped or slowed with appropriate intervention and follow up care. Initial treatment will consist of scaling and root planing, or "a deep cleaning." To prevent further progression, periodontal maintenance will be recommended at 2-4 month intervals.
In certain cases, periodontal surgery may be recommended to treat periodontal disease when non-surgical treatment is ineffective. We may advise procedures such as pocket reduction, soft tissue grafts or bone regeneration to treat periodontal disease. If a tooth has been lost due to periodontal disease, dental implants are always an option for permanent tooth replacement.
Good oral hygiene and regular visits with your dentist and periodontist can prevent periodontal disease. Daily brushing and flossing can keep plaque to a minimum and, in conjunction with professional cleanings 2-4 times a year, can keep your teeth healthy for life.