Treating and Preventing Periodontal Disease
By Stephen Rogers on June 26, 2013
All patients want a healthy and beautiful smile. Unfortunately, many adults are affected by some form of gum disease. Left untreated, gum disease can lead to infection, health problems, and even loss of teeth. Thankfully, gum disease is treatable and with the proper dental care, patients can avoid it entirely. At Greater Long Island Dental in cosmetic dentist Dr. Frederic Paschkes and his team of dentists are well equipped to successfully treat and prevent gum disease in patients.
What Is Gum Disease?
Gum disease, also known as periodontal disease, is a wide-ranging form of bacterial infection on the gums. As many patients know, the mouth is a breeding ground for bacteria. Without proper cleaning, bacteria can lead to plaque and tartar buildup on the teeth and gums. Factors other than dental hygiene can also increase the risk of gum disease. Such triggers include: genetics, smoking, hormone changes (especially in pregnant women), the use of certain prescription medications, and having diabetes or other illnesses.
Stage 1: Gingivitis
Gum disease starts out as gingivitis, which means “inflammation of the gum tissue.” Due to increased bacteria production caused by untreated plaque and tartar on the teeth, the gums may become red, inflamed, and swollen. Bleeding, sensitivity, and tenderness of the gum area are all common symptoms of gingivitis, which is considered a mild form of gum disease.
Treatment of Gingivitis
Gingivitis is very common and can be treated with routine professional cleanings coupled with extra cleanings at home. While brushing and flossing can help eliminate plaque buildup, a dentist can remove tartar, so scheduling a professional cleaning with the dentist is essential. Maintaining excellent dental hygiene is the best way to treat and prevent gingivitis.
Stage 2: Periodontitis
If gingivitis is left untreated and worsens, it can advance to periodontitis, which means “inflammation around the tooth.” Periodontitis is a serious infection of the gums, which destroys the soft tissue and bone that supports the tooth. Left untreated, periodontitis can lead to tooth loss and has even been linked to heart disease, diabetes, and other illnesses.
Treatment of Periodontitis
Once a dentist has diagnosed periodontitis, there are multiple treatment options available depending on the level of its severity. The dentist will first want to perform a thorough cleaning of the teeth and gums, using special tools to target the gum pockets. Treatments such as scaling, root planing, and the application of certain antibiotics to infected areas are all non-surgical techniques to treat early periodontitis. More advanced cases of periodontitis often require surgical treatments and removal of infected teeth. Dental implants provide a great solution for patients who need to have teeth extracted. Consulting a dentist or periodontal specialist is the best way to determine what level of care is needed for your gum disease.
The first step a patient must take in managing or preventing gum disease is to schedule an appointment with a qualified dentist. Gum disease treatment is just one of the many services offered by dentists. Contact the team at Greater Long Island Dental today for assistance with all of your dental needs.
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