Periodontal (gum) disease affects more than half of all American adults, and many people are not even aware that they suffer from this disease. Left untreated, gum disease can cause premature tooth loss and a variety of other serious oral health issues. Read on to learn more about gum disease and periodontal care, or contact BORO Dental Arts now to schedule a consultation right away..
Periodontal disease, also called gum disease, is a chronic infection of your gum tissue. It’s usually caused by poor oral hygiene, along with other risk factors like diabetes, smoking, and a diet high in sugar and processed foods.
If you do not care for your mouth properly, bacteria in your mouth will build up between your teeth and gums, forming plaque and tartar. Eventually, these bacteria will attack and infect your gums, resulting in periodontal disease. Proper at-home oral hygiene is the best way to avoid this common oral health issue.
Periodontal disease is usually split into three stages known as gingivitis, periodontitis, and advanced periodontitis.
Gingivitis is the first stage, and it’s reversible with timely intervention from a dentist. Your gums will be inflamed, but no permanent damage will be done to your teeth or gums.
Once the disease progresses to periodontitis, however, it can never be completely eliminated. Permanent damage will be done to your gums and teeth, and while the infection can be controlled and halted with proper care, this can’t be reversed.
The final stage is known as advanced periodontitis. In this stage of gum disease, the gums and support structures of your teeth have been seriously damaged. While it may be possible to save your teeth, it’s often necessary to extract and replace most or all of your teeth.
Gingivitis, the first stage of gum disease, is characterized by relatively mild symptoms such as gum swelling and discoloration, halitosis (bad breath) and gums that bleed easily when brushing.
Once the disease progresses to periodontitis, you may notice further symptoms like gum recession that makes your teeth look longer, pain and discomfort when chewing, and tooth sensitivity to hot and cold foods and drinks.
Advanced periodontitis causes even more severe symptoms, including a foul taste in the mouth, buildup of pus between the teeth and gums, a change in how your teeth fit together, severe tooth pain, and teeth that feel loose or even fall out of your mouth completely.
The process of treating periodontal disease is different for each patient. Typically, you will begin with a deep cleaning (scaling & root planing) at BORO Dental Arts.
In this procedure, Dr. Adrian Lau will clean away plaque and tartar from between your teeth and gums, and smooth out the roots of your teeth to eliminate periodontal “pockets” of bacteria. Along with antibiotics, this is often enough to halt or reverse the effects of minor-to-moderate gum disease.
If this is not enough to control your gum disease, further deep cleanings may be necessary, along with surgical treatments like gum flap surgery and gum grafting. Dr. Lau will discuss your options with you during your consultation to ensure you get the treatment you need in Long Island City.