Gum Disease Treatment
Gum Disease Treatment
Periodontal disease, or as most of us know it, gum disease, is a severe oral condition that commonly leads to tooth loss and other health issues when left untreated. By scheduling regular dental exams and teeth cleanings every six months, our advanced-trained dentist, Dr. Joseph Ayoub, can check for early signs of periodontal disease and, if detected, offer prompt treatment before the gum disease progresses. He will also advise on good oral hygiene habits so you can take preventative measures at home to avoid gingival problems. In addition, at Dentistry By Design, PC, we offer Long Island patients effective periodontal treatment options to help maintain oral health and a beautiful smile.
Signs & Symptoms Of Gum Disease
- Loose teeth
- Sensitive teeth
- Receding gums
- Pain, redness, or swelling of the gums
- Halitosis – bad breath
- Longer-looking teeth – supporting tissue may pull away, resulting in a “toothy” look.
Causes Of Periodontal Disease
There are several causes of gum disease:
- Poor oral hygiene: Ignoring parts of your oral hygiene routine (skipping flossing, brushing once a day, brushing for less than 2 minutes, skipping dental visits) or even completely ignoring your oral hygiene practice will lead to an excess build-up of plaque and bacteria.
- Smoking: Cigarettes and other tobacco products restrict oxygen in your blood and overall blood flow, depriving your gums of essential nutrients and slowing healing.
- Drinking: Alcohol has a drying effect on your mouth, which promotes bacterial growth.
- Certain medications: Some medications can promote drying as well.
- Nutritional deficiencies: Vitamins C and B12 may lead to poor gum health.
- Alignment issues: When your teeth are out of proper alignment, it can raise your risk of developing gum disease.
Gum Disease Evaluation & Diagnosis
Early stages of gum disease commonly go unnoticed. However, our South Huntington dentist, Dr. Ayoub, often diagnoses patients during regular dental exams where the patient needs to be made aware. The two diagnoses typically given are:
Gingivitis ~ refers to swollen, red, or inflamed gums. Bleeding gums is a sign of gingivitis as well. However, being the mildest form of gum disease, many patients can reverse this with proper oral care.
Periodontitis ~ advanced gingivitis commonly results in periodontitis. Periodontitis is when plaque and bacteria fall below the gum line, resulting in inflamed and irritated gums detaching from the tooth. In addition, bacteria and our body’s infection-fighting enzymes begin to break down the bone and soft tissue. As a result, tooth loss is common in this advanced and severe form of gum disease. However, if caught early enough, treated, and taken seriously by the patient, damage may be reversible.
What Is Gingivitis?
Gingivitis is a sign of the initial stage of gum disease. Although it doesn’t cause severe discomfort and commonly goes unnoticed, there are specific signs to look out for that indicate the start of an oral issue. For example, if you notice your gums bleed when you brush your teeth, look red and inflamed, or feel tender, you likely have gingivitis.
The good news is that the early treatment of gingivitis can prevent tissue damage associated with more advanced stages of gum disease. In addition, despite inflammation and irritation, the overall integrity of the periodontal tissues remains intact.
Treatment at this point is often sufficient to reverse the disease’s course and avoid any permanent tissue damage. Deep dental cleanings, daily maintenance, and an improved home dental routine may be all you need to prevent this phase of periodontal disease from progressing.
What Is Periodontitis?
When a case of gingivitis develops into an advanced and more damaging stage of gum disease, this advanced stage is called periodontitis. At the point of periodontitis, the connective tissue and bone that hold the teeth begin to weaken and break down. With the progression of gum disease and periodontitis, more and more soft and hard tissue loss ensues. Damage often includes increased pocketing between the teeth and bone, gum recession, and bone loss. In addition, as unresolved periodontitis progresses, it compromises the tissue supporting the teeth.
Periodontal treatment in this stage is designed to halt the disease’s progression and restore tooth support as possible. In addition, dental treatment may include medications to control the bacteria and reduce the pockets between the teeth and gums, gum surgery, and bone and tissue grafts.
Treatments For Periodontal Disease
The treatment for periodontal disease will vary based on how advanced your gum disease is progressing. Treatments for periodontal disease include:
Scaling and Root Planing
This procedure is basically a deep cleaning for your teeth, removing build-up and bacteria from the surfaces of your teeth and smoothing your entire root.
Treatment using a dental laser is often done to remove infected gum tissue, which provides the access we need to perform a thorough scaling and root planing.
Pocket Reduction Surgery
If the periodontal pockets are too deep, we cannot access them to perform a thorough cleaning. With pocket reduction surgery, we make incisions to expose the roots of your teeth, clean them and stitch your gums closed.
A gum graft helps to protect the tooth and reverse the effects of gum recession.
A bone graft restores bone mass lost due to periodontal disease, which helps restore the strength of your jawbone.