Gum disease is a widespread dental concern. In fact, data from the CDC suggests that almost half of all Americans over 30 have some form of periodontal disease, and it’s even more common among older patients.
Taking good care of your gums is essential to oral health and long-term general well-being. Your gums help support your teeth and act as a barrier between bacteria in your mouth and your bloodstream. This barrier helps protect your body from internal inflammation and a variety of related health issues.
Keep reading to learn how you can prevent gum disease and effective treatments.
What is gum disease?
Gum disease is a bacterial infection that causes inflammation of the gums and surrounding tissues. Gum disease rarely happens overnight. Rather, it tends to worsen slowly over time. The stages of the condition include gingivitis (mild) and periodontitis (severe).
If left untreated, the effects of gum disease will have a major impact on the health and appearance of your teeth. Periodontitis has even been linked to serious health conditions such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, rheumatoid arthritis, and stroke.
Causes of gum disease
Generally speaking, gum disease is caused by the accumulation of plaque and tartar on the teeth and along the gumline. Several risk factors can contribute to the development of gum disease. Some of these include:
- Poor oral hygiene
- Sudden hormonal changes
- Tobacco use (both chewing and smoking)
- Vitamin deficiency
- Certain medications
- Advanced age
- Certain health conditions
Symptoms of gum disease
Because it tends to worsen slowly over time, it can be easy to miss some of the early signs and symptoms of periodontal disease. Some warning signs that may indicate you’re suffering from gum disease include:
- Red or swollen gums
- Bleeding gums
- Bad breath or a lingering bad taste
- Sensitive teeth
- Loose or shifting teeth
- Painful chewing
- A receding gum line
Treatments for gum disease
At Greater Long Island Dental in Massapequa, we work closely with our patients to diagnose gum disease as early as possible. The sooner gum disease is identified, the easier it is to treat.
There are a variety of effective gum disease treatments. The right course of action for your situation depends on how advanced the condition is, whether or not you’ve responded to previous treatments and your oral and overall health. Our amazing dentists will work with you to develop a customized treatment plan to meet your individual needs.
Professional dental cleanings
Routine in-office dental cleanings help remove plaque and tartar from your teeth, gums, and the rest of your oral tissue. Patients who notice early signs of periodontal disease may benefit from additional professional deep cleanings.
Advanced forms of gum disease have traditionally been treated with invasive surgical treatments, including the following:
- Flap surgery/pocket reduction surgery
- Gum grafts
- Guided tissue regeneration
- Bone grafts
Unfortunately, surgical interventions to treat gum disease are often associated with longer healing times, pain and discomfort, inconsistent results, and a higher risk of infection and complications.
Perio Protect presents a non-intrusive, user-friendly, and exceptionally comfortable approach to addressing gum disease and achieving teeth whitening in the comfort of your own home. Each treatment session requires just approximately 15 minutes of your time. Here’s how it works:
- Start with a visit to Greater Long Island Dental in Massapequa for a gum disease exam.
- We’ll make a set of custom trays and provide you with peroxide gel.
- The custom trays hold the gel snugly against the teeth and gums, killing gum disease-causing bacteria.
- You’ll wear your trays daily and see results within a few weeks.
Pinhole gum rejuvenation
Greater Long Island Dental offers an advanced, non-invasive alternative to surgical intervention. Our state-of-the-art pinhole gum rejuvenation treatments eliminate the need for scalpels and stitches.
Using high-tech tools to gently and effectively reposition the gum tissue, we can restore the health and appearance of your gum line and increase blood flow to the area, which facilitates rapid healing.
The procedure is much less invasive and far more comfortable than other gum disease treatments. It also leads to faster, better healing, and the entire process takes less than 2 hours.
How to prevent gum disease
The best way to prevent gum disease is to be diligent about oral health. You can do this by:
- Practicing daily at-home dental hygiene by brushing, flossing, and using an antibacterial mouthwash
- Getting routine dental cleanings, exams, and x-rays every six months
- Eating a healthy, nutritious diet
- Limiting alcohol
- Being aware of potential risk factors
Prevent and treat gum disease with Greater Long Island Dental
If you’re suffering from gum disease, we can help! Our amazing team at Greater Long Island Dental has the skills and expertise to restore your dental health. In addition to our high-tech treatments, we’ll also work with you to develop a comprehensive prevention plan so you can enjoy a healthy and radiant smile for years to come.
Our goal is to make quality dental care accessible for all. We offer flexible payment plans for our patients. For those with dental anxiety, we can provide you with state-of-the-art sedation dentistry and amenities to ensure you’re completely comfortable during your treatment.