Periodontal Treatment / Gum Treatment in Huntington, NY
Periodontal disease, which is also called gum disease or periodontitis, is often painless with no obvious symptoms. Many people are shocked when they learn that the first stage of gum disease is gingivitis. If it’s not treated, it can advance to periodontitis, a severe form of gum disease that is the leading cause of tooth loss in American adults and has been linked to diabetes and heart disease.
Call our board-certified periodontist in Huntington today at (631) 247-0976 to schedule an appointment. You’ll leave your appointment understanding how periodontal disease is impacting your oral health, the next steps for treatment, and what you can do at home to help manage this chronic disease.
What Causes Periodontal Disease?
There are millions of bacteria in our mouths. Some kinds are good; they break down the food that we eat. Other kinds form plaque, which can erode the enamel of your teeth, leading to decay (cavities), and damaging the soft tissue and bone that hold the teeth in place.
Daily brushing and flossing can prevent the acidic bacteria from accumulating on the teeth (plaque) and below the gumline. Poor oral hygiene is the leading cause of periodontal disease. Other factors that lead to gum infection include heredity, poor nutrition, stress, smoking, hormone changes, certain medications, and some diseases such as diabetes and HIV. Age can also be an important factor. Almost half of Americans over age 30 have some form of gum disease, and more than 70% of Americans over the age of 65 have periodontitis, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
What Are Common Symptoms of Periodontal Disease?
The first stage of periodontal disease is gingivitis. It often has no obvious symptoms, or the infection may cause the gums to become red and swollen or they may even bleed. If left untreated, the disease becomes worse. Toxins produced by the bacteria in plaque irritate the gums and lead the erosion of the tissues and bone that support the teeth. The teeth may become loose and eventually fall out or need to be extracted.
As periodontal disease advances, it may cause symptoms such as:
- Red or swollen gums
- Bleeding gums
- Sensitivity to temperature
- Painful to chew
- Bad breath
- Gum recession
- Loose teeth
- A change in how the teeth fit together
How Do You Treat Periodontal Disease?
Periodontal disease is a chronic disease, like diabetes. With proper management, it can be controlled, but it cannot be cured. Only the first stage (gingivitis) can be reversed. Once the disease advances, it requires regular monitoring and treatment.
Some types of treatment can be performed at a general dentist’s office. Other cases will be referred to a periodontal office like ours. Our periodontist can use special tools to remove the plaque and bacteria from under the gum line through a process called scaling and root planing. The process is comfortable; we use a local anesthetic to numb the area and have nitrous oxide (laughing gas) available to help our patients relax. We can even arrange for an anesthesiologist should the patient prefer to sleep through the entire procedure.
If periodontal disease leads to severe gum recession, we may recommend additional procedures to replace the gum tissue that was lost.
What Other Diseases Are Associated with Periodontal Disease?
Research has linked periodontal disease (gum disease) with other types of disease. The bacteria and toxins that cause periodontal disease can travel to other parts of the body through the bloodstream. Clinical studies have linked periodontal disease to heart disease, diabetes, stroke, Alzheimer’s, some types of cancer, and pre-term births.
What Is Periodontal Maintenance?
Since periodontal disease is a chronic disease, like diabetes, it requires some effort to keep it in check. People with gum disease need periodontal maintenance visits. The periodontist, general dentist, or hygienist can perform the necessary treatment three or four times a year to remove any new plaque from beneath the gum line and ensure the periodontal disease is under control.
It’s important to maintain an excellent oral hygiene routine at home as well. People should brush their teeth two times a day, for two minutes each time. Daily flossing and other techniques we will show you will help remove plaque and prevent the disease from advancing.
Call Today for a Periodontal Consultation
Call our office today at (631) 247-0976 to schedule a consultation with Dr. Kapoor. It’s the first step to restoring your oral health and preserving your teeth, gums, and jawbone so you can eat and laugh with ease for years to come.