About Periodontal Disease
Gum disease is one of the leading causes of tooth loss. Gum disease has two primary stages. If diagnosed and treated in the first stage, the condition can be reversed and tooth loss can usually be prevented. In order to prevent gum disease, practice good oral hygiene and visit your dentist for cleanings and check-ups twice a year.
If gum disease is detected during your visit, we will instruct you on steps regarding improved home care and recommend specialized treatment options in our office to eliminate the disease.
Gingivitis – Early Stage of Gum Disease
This stage only affects the soft tissue of the gums, and the patient may not experience any discomfort. Although the symptoms may be very mild, it is important to diagnose gum disease in this early stage before it progresses to periodontitis.
Symptoms of Gingivitis may include:
- Swollen or bleeding gums
- Bad breath or a metallic taste in the mouth
- Receding gums
- Increasing spaces between teeth
Periodontitis – Advanced Stages of Gum Disease
Periodontitis is the name for more advanced periodontal disease and if permitted to progress to this point, not only the gums are affected but the bone structures supporting the teeth will be compromised.
Without regular dental visits, symptoms may not be noticed until moderate periodontitis is present.
Firm, pink, gums attached to the teeth and supported by firm dense bone are the indicators of healthy gums and teeth that have the strong support they need.
A build-up of bacteria causes Gingivitis. In its early stages, inflammation around the gums is observable, with gum tissues appearing red and swollen. Gums that are easily irritated or that bleed during tooth brushing indicate the presence of Gingivitis. Removal of the plaque buildup is necessary to prevent the development of gum disease.
As the gums become more inflamed, they start to pull away from the teeth, forming spaces known as periodontal “pockets.” Food, bacteria, and plaque begin to collect in the pockets, leading to infection. The surrounding bone becomes damaged both by bacterial toxins and by the immune system’s response to infection.
The symptoms of periodontitis become more severe as inflammation spreads, and some discomfort may occur. More supporting bone is lost, teeth loosen, and the gums recede further.
A major cause of tooth loss in adults, advanced periodontitis is marked by painful abscesses that are the result of the infection spreading beneath the gums.
What Is The Difference Between A Dentist And A Periodontist?
Have you ever been referred to a periodontist by your dentist? While both dentists and periodontists specialize in oral care, significant differences between these two dental professionals exist. Read on and learn more about the differences between a dentist and a periodontist.
General Dentistry vs. Periodontics
When you have a concern with your teeth, you typically visit a general dentist. They provide preventative and restorative care to patients, like cleanings and fillings. On the other hand, periodontists specialize in a more advanced level of care. A periodontist is a dental professional with additional training in diagnosing and treating diseases affecting gum tissue, such as gingivitis and periodontal disease. This specialization allows them to provide more advanced care for the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of periodontal conditions. Periodontists often provide support and guidance to general dentists when treating complex cases involving the gums.
What Do Dentists Do?
Dentists play an essential role in maintaining the oral health of their patients. From preventative care to restorative work, dentists are responsible for diagnosing, treating, and preventing a wide range of dental concerns. Generally speaking, a dentist’s duties include:
- Examining teeth, gums, and surrounding tissues to detect signs of decay or other problems
- Performing fillings, root canals, and extractions
- Preventive care, such as regular cleanings, oral screenings, and X-rays
- Applying sealants to prevent cavities
- Applying fluoride treatments to help strengthen tooth enamel
- Fit dentures, bridgework, or other prosthetic devices
- Diagnosing and treating oral diseases
- Educating patients on oral hygiene and the importance of regular check-ups
- Discussing treatment options with patients
- Referring patients to specialists as needed
What Do Periodontists Do?
Periodontists specialize in preventing, diagnosing, and treating diseases affecting the gums, teeth, and jawbone. They have advanced training in gum diseases such as gingivitis and periodontal disease. Specifically, periodontists provide the following services:
- Diagnosing and treating gum disease, including periodontitis
- Dental implants and implant placement
- Scaling and root planing (cleaning below the gum line)
- Regenerative procedures for soft tissue and bone
- Surgery for gum recession
- Grafts for lost tissue around teeth
- Cosmetic periodontal procedures, such as crown lengthening
- Soft tissue augmentation increasing the thickness of thin gum tissue
- Bone grafts to repair damaged bones around the teeth
When Do You Need a Periodontist?
If you have any issues or concerns with your gums or jawbone, you may need a periodontist's help. Here are some signs you need a periodontist:
- You have bleeding or receding gums
- You show signs of gum disease, such as swelling, redness, or tenderness
- You have a severe case of tooth decay or a deep cavity.
- You have loose teeth
- You suffer from chronic bad breath
- Your dentist recommended you see a periodontist for further treatment
Periodontists in New York and New Jersey
If you need periodontal care in New York and New Jersey, contact the skilled and compassionate periodontists of Leading Edge Specialized Dentistry. From preventive care and gum disease treatment to full mouth reconstruction, we offer comprehensive services for all periodontal needs. Contact us today and schedule an appointment or request an appointment online.
What Does A Periodontist Do?
A periodontist is a dentist who specializes in the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of diseases of the gum and bones that support the teeth.
This often includes providing regular cleaning, taking x-rays, and performing procedures such as scaling and root planing to remove plaque and tartar from the teeth and gums. Periodontists may also perform more complex procedures to improve the health of the gums and to support structures for the teeth.
Keep reading to learn more about what a periodontist does and periodontal maintenance.
What Procedures Does a Periodontist Perform?
To help improve the health of your gums and prevent or treat gum disease, there are a variety of procedures that a periodontist may perform. Some of these procedures are minor such as regular cleanings and checkups to remove plaque and tartar from the teeth and gums. However, more in-depth procedures include:
- Scaling and root planing to remove bacteria and plaque from below the gum line. These are two different procedures, where scaling removes the unseen bacteria and planing smooths the surface of the tooth to prevent spaces where bacteria hide.
- Gum grafting to repair damaged or receding gums. When you have receding gums, the tooth root is often exposed, causing loss of bone support and increased sensitivity. Once the tissue is removed and the grafting covers the roots, the gum tissue regenerates and bonds teeth.
- Bone surgery to help regenerate lost bone tissue. If your bone structure needs to be reshaped to hold your teeth in place, a periodontist will perform osseous (bone) surgery. This allows the gaps that hold bacteria between gums and teeth to align and prevent them from forming further.
- Bone graft to prepare for a dental implant. A bone graft increases the thickness of the jawbone to support an implant. Once complete, the bone will grow within a few months so that an implant can be placed.
- Dental implants to replace missing teeth. This is a specialty for periodontists, where they place an artificial tooth and root system. The implanted root is surgically placed in the jawbone and fuses and anchors the bone so that a crown is attached on top.
In addition to the procedures, a periodontist also provides tooth extraction, if necessary, education and instruction on proper hygiene techniques to help prevent gum disease.
What is Periodontal Maintenance?
Periodontal maintenance is a type of dental care that is performed regularly to help prevent the progression of gum disease and maintain the health of the gums and surrounding tissue.
This type of care is recommended for individuals who have already been treated for gum disease and may include regular cleanings and checkups. The goal is to remove plaque and tartar from the teeth and gums and to monitor your overall oral health to ensure gum disease does not progress.
This care is performed in conjunction with good oral hygiene habits at home, such as brushing and flossing regularly.
During an examination for periodontal maintenance, the periodontist will conduct a visual inspection to look for abnormal structures, cavities, gum and bone recession, and more. Dental cleaning will then take place to remove build-up on teeth.
Leading Edge Specialized Dentistry Proved Periodontal Maintenance
If you need advanced dental care for gum disease or problems with the structure of your teeth, a periodontist offers the specific treatment you need.
At Leading Edge Specialized Dentistry, we provide several periodontal services to help restore and maintain your dental health. Call 631-351-3444 or contact us today to learn more and schedule your appointment.
How To Care For Teeth With Periodontal Disease
Periodontal disease, or gum disease as it is better known, is a bacterial infection of the gum tissue. It is a common condition affecting nearly half of the population in the US. A key factor in the development and treatment of gum disease is dental care, both at home and professional care by a dentist.
Caring for your teeth doesn’t have to be difficult. Just a few simple steps can help your gum disease clear up and stay gone. Here’s how to care for teeth with periodontal disease.
Symptoms of Periodontal Disease
How do you know if you have periodontal disease? Here are the common signs and symptoms:
- Swollen or red gum tissue. An early sign of infection is swollen or red gum tissue. This occurs due to irritation and inflammation from the bacteria that have infected the gums.
- Sore or tender gums. The irritation and inflammation from the infection can cause the gums to be sore or tender when brushing, flossing, or eating.
- Bleeding gums. The most noticeable sign of bleeding gums is pink or red in your toothpaste when you spit into the sink after brushing.
- Bad breath. The increase of bacteria in your mouth due to gum disease can cause bad breath.
- Abscess on the gum tissue. A pimple-like bump can form on your gum tissue called an abscess. It may ooze pus when touched.
If you have any of the above symptoms, you may have gum disease or just the early stage called gingivitis.
Causes of Periodontal Disease
Periodontal disease is caused by a buildup of plaque on the teeth. Plaque is a sticky film made of food residue and bacteria that clings to the teeth. If it is not removed by brushing or dental cleanings, it hardens into calculus that is much more difficult to remove. Calculus also contains mature bacteria that are more likely to infect the gum tissue.
How to Care for Your Teeth
Whether or not you have signs of gum disease, the following instructions outline the best way to care for your teeth.
- Brush at least twice a day. Brushing your teeth twice a day will remove a lot of food particles and plaque from your teeth. Use a fluoride toothpaste and spend a total of 2 minutes brushing. Mentally divide your mouth into quadrants, spending 30 seconds on each section to ensure you don’t miss any spots. If you have recurring gum disease, consider brushing more often, such as after each time you eat.
- Floss once a day. Flossing once a day is usually effective at removing plaque from between your teeth and along the gum line. If you have gum disease that is severe or keeps returning, you could increase your flossing routine to twice a day or after each meal to ensure you remove all food from between your teeth. Flossing also makes your gum tissue more resilient and resistant to bacteria. Be careful not to floss too often, or you could irritate your gums and make them more susceptible to infection.
- Go to the dentist regularly for cleanings. Even if you brush and floss daily, there are still places you may miss. Going to the dentist for professional cleanings every 6 months allows your dentist to remove plaque from hard to reach places.
- Start a periodontal maintenance program. Some patients benefit from professional teeth cleanings more often than the usual routine of twice a year. Your dentist may recommend that you have your teeth deep cleaned once a month or every other month. The schedule for your personal periodontal maintenance program can be determined by how quickly you develop calculus on your teeth.
Leading Edge Specialized Dentistry Provides Periodontal Maintenance
Leading Edge Specialized Dentistry provides periodontal maintenance programs to treat gum disease and prevent it from recurring. If you have any signs or symptoms of gum disease, let us know so that we can provide the necessary treatment.
Call 631-351-3444 or contact us today to learn more and schedule an appointment.
What Is The Best Treatment For Periodontal Disease?
Periodontal disease, or gum disease as it is more commonly known, is one of the most common oral health conditions. When it is addressed early, treatment is relatively simple, but once the disease progresses, treatment becomes more complex and invasive.
What’s the best treatment for periodontal disease? It depends on the situation. Here’s what you need to know about gum disease and how it is treated.
What is Periodontal Disease?
Periodontal disease is the technical term for gum disease, a bacterial infection of the gum tissue. Symptoms of minor periodontal disease include swollen, tender, or bleeding gums. Advanced periodontal disease can cause damage to the gums and the jaw that may eventually lead to loose or lost teeth.
What Causes Periodontal Disease?
Periodontal disease is caused by plaque, a sticky film made of food residue and bacteria that clings to the teeth. When plaque is not removed from the teeth it hardens into calculus. By the time calculus forms, the bacteria have reached a certain level of maturity that leads to an infection of the gum tissue.
How is Periodontal Disease Treated?
There are a variety of treatments for gum disease. The method of treatment that is applied will depend on the situation and the severity of the infection. Possible treatments include:
- Periodontal maintenance. The first step in treating gum disease is removing the plaque and calculus that are the source of the infection. Periodontal maintenance includes a thorough cleaning of the teeth, both above and below the gumline. This process will be repeated periodically to keep gum disease from coming back.
- Non surgical. Non surgical treatment for gum disease involves the use of lasers to regenerate the tissues that have been lost due to gum disease. It helps restore the gum tissue, ligaments, and jaw bone to support the teeth.
- Surgical. Surgical treatment for periodontal disease includes procedures that require cutting into the tissues of the mouth to repair and regenerate lost support structures. Surgical procedures may include bone grafting, gum grafting, and crown lengthening.
What’s the Best Treatment?
There is not one single best treatment for periodontal disease. It needs to be treated according to the specific needs of each individual patient. Some patients may only need periodontal maintenance. Others may need non surgical or surgical procedures to repair the damaged tissue from untreated, progressed periodontal disease. Treatment can even include dental implants to replace teeth that were lost due to advanced periodontal disease.
Prevention is Best
The ideal situation would be to prevent gum disease in the first place. By brushing your teeth twice a day and flossing once a day, most of the plaque that forms on your teeth will be removed. When plaque is removed daily, it doesn’t have time to harden into calculus and is less likely to infect the gum tissue.
Having your teeth professionally cleaned at your dentist’s office every 6 months is another important part of preventing gum disease. Dental cleanings remove any plaque or calculus that forms in places that are missed when you brush and floss. It also allows your dentist to detect gum disease in the early stages and treat it before it results in damage that will require more complex procedures to correct.
Leading Edge Specialized Dentistry Treats Periodontal Disease
Periodontal disease, although common, is relatively easy to treat and prevent. If you have mild or severe symptoms of gum disease, Leading Edge Specialized Dentistry provides a wide range of treatment options.
Call 631-351-3444 or contact us today to learn more and schedule an appointment.