At Dentistry at the Heights, we provide comprehensive periodontal treatments, including scaling and root planing, to help patients achieve and maintain healthy gums and teeth. Early treatment for periodontal (gum) disease is crucial for oral health, which is linked to overall health. Dr. Kevin Trotter, with his talented team of associates and hygienists, can help you regain healthy gums with state-of-the-art periodontal care at our Brooklyn Heights, NY, practice and advise you on developing at-home habits to help prevent further problems.
The clear, sticky substance that constantly forms on your teeth is called plaque.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, half of all Americans suffer from periodontal disease. Patients with this condition may have an increased potential for heart disease, stroke, dementia, diabetes complications, low birth weights, and other systemic health conditions. Treating periodontal disease in a timely manner can help you avoid serious oral and overall health problems.
Healthy gums are firm, pink in color, and do not bleed when you floss or brush. Signs of gum disease include swollen, red, tender, or bleeding gums; receding gums; painful chewing; loose teeth; and persistent bad breath or bad taste in mouth.
Periodontal means around the tooth, and periodontal disease is an infection in this area. It is categorized according to its severity, and the mildest stage is gingivitis. Swelling of the gums, the main symptom of gingivitis, occurs as your body is fighting off the infection. If you have gingivitis, your gums may bleed during flossing and brushing and feel tender. The effects of gingivitis are reversible with a professional dental cleaning and extra attention to good at-home care. However, in all stages, gum disease is a chronic condition, so it can recur if you aren’t conscientious about your oral hygiene.
The advanced form of gum disease is called periodontitis. It occurs when untreated gingivitis worsens and the gums pull away from the teeth, creating pockets that become infected. Bacteria spreads under the gum line, and the bone and tissues that support the teeth begin to erode. There are several different types of periodontitis, and patients can experience different problems unique to the type they suffer from. Some forms of periodontitis can act rapidly, underscoring the need for routine preventive care to check for undetected issues.
Scaling and root planing, which is also called deep cleaning, is often enough to heal the gums. Scaling involves thoroughly cleaning the tooth root surface, while root planing smooths down rough areas on roots beneath the gum line. We can also provide antibiotic treatment in the form of medications applied to the pockets between the gums and teeth. For patients with advanced periodontal disease, surgical treatment can help close up the pockets and regenerate healthy gum tissue. In some cases, a graft is necessary to restore lost bone and soft tissue.
Gum surgery, such as pocket reduction procedures, regenerative procedures, crown lengthening, and soft tissue grafts, is usually necessary.
The best way to prevent periodontal disease is to practice excellent oral care at home. You should brush your teeth in the morning and evening, as well as after every meal, and floss daily. Foods to avoid include anything sticky and foods high in sugar. Visit Dentistry at the Heights at least twice a year for a professional cleaning and exam. Whether or not you have been taking care of your teeth properly, a dental exam will catch gum disease in its early, treatable stage.
Proper at-home periodontal care includes brushing in the morning, evening, and after every meal, as well as flossing at least once a day. Another part of good oral hygiene is getting a professional dental cleaning and exam every six months. Proper periodontal care can prevent most cases of periodontal disease.
All forms of periodontitis are serious and can lead to tooth loss and bone reduction. Call our office today to schedule a consultation with Dr. Trotter to discuss proper periodontal care.
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