At Park Smiles NYC, we offer periodontal disease prevention and treatment, in addition to a comprehensive array of dental services for all ages in one convenient location.
Did you know that scientists have found links between periodontal disease and heart disease, diabetes, dementia and even premature birth? Click here to learn more.
Periodontal disease, or gum disease, is a bacterial infection that causes chronic inflammation of the gums and surrounding tissue. Some of the most common dental health concerns, periodontal disease is the cause of approximately 70% of adult tooth loss, affecting nearly 80% of people at some point in their life.
Almost anyone can get periodontal disease, which could go on for months before you notice symptoms. Being that it can cause permanent and extensive damage to your health, it’s important to understand its causes, how to detect early signs of the disease, and how to prevent and treat it.
Plaque, which is a sticky bacteria-filled film that forms on teeth, is recognized as the primary cause of periodontal disease. If plaque is not removed every day by brushing and flossing, it hardens into a rough, porous substance known as tartar or calculus.
The bacteria in plaque produces toxins that cause the breakdown of the gum tissue, in turn causing gums to pull away from the teeth and creating pockets that fill with even more plaque, bacteria and toxins. As periodontal disease progresses, the pockets grow deeper and the plaque and bacteria move further down the tooth root, which destroys supporting bone. The affected teeth may loosen, fall out, or require extraction.
Other factors that can cause periodontal/gum disease include:
Dry mouth, older age and dental restorations that don’t fit properly (or crooked teeth that are difficult to clean) are also known to contribute to periodontal/gum disease. This is why it’s so important to see your dentist on a regular basis in order to help prevent periodontal disease at its early stage.
While you’re brushing or flossing, you may notice warning signs such as red, swollen or tender gums. You may also notice bleeding gums. It’s important to note that there may not be any discomfort until the disease has reached an advanced stage – and that’s another reason why it’s so important to visit your dentist regularly for cleanings. Your dentist will monitor your oral health and help you identify and prevent problems before they become more serious.
Additional warning signs that you may have periodontal disease include:
The early stage of gum disease is called gingivitis. The primary effects of gingivitis on the body include tender and swollen gums that sometimes bleed. If the disease progresses, it can cause gum tissue to pull away from teeth, allowing bacteria to destroy the underlying bone supporting the teeth. This can cause painful lesions on the gums, loose teeth, and loss of bone structure.
The more advanced stage of gum or periodontal disease is called periodontitis. This stage commonly increases inflammation throughout the body, which in turn can be an underlying factor in diseases including heart disease, diabetes, dementia and rheumatoid arthritis.
Treatment for periodontal diseaseis performed by a periodontist. For those who do have periodontal disease, there are several nonsurgical options and surgical options for treatment. These include:
If periodontitis isn't advanced, treatment may involve less invasive, nonsurgical procedures, including:
For those with advanced periodontitis, treatment may require surgical treatment, including:
Removing plaque through daily brushing and flossing as well as scheduling regular dental appointments for professional cleanings are the best ways to minimize your risk for gum disease. If necessary, your dentist can design a personalized program of home oral care to meet your needs.
In addition to home care and professional care by your dentist, it’s also important to eat a healthy diet that provides nutrients such as vitamins A and C to prevent gum disease. Starchy and sugary foods increase plaque and the prevalence of the disease. It’s also important to avoid cigarettes and smokeless tobacco, which may contribute to both gum disease as well as oral cancer.
At Park Smiles NYC, we offer a comprehensive array of dental services and specialties in the convenience of one office. Led by Dr. Ruben Cohen , a renowned board-certified oral and maxillofacial surgeon, our skilled and experienced team includes the top dentists, pediatric dentists, periodontist, orthodontist, endodontist, and anesthesiologists in New York.
If you notice any signs and symptoms of gingivitis, schedule an appointment with us at your earliest convenience. The sooner you seek care, the better your chances of reversing damage from gingivitis and preventing its progression to periodontitis.
Achieving a healthy, beautiful smile is like a Walk in the Park at Park Smiles NYC!