Periodontal Disease Treatment and Prevention to Protect Your Smile for Life
With over three million cases in the U.S. each year, periodontal disease is one of the most common oral health problems in the country. Although it is not necessarily a serious condition, untreated cases can often lead to tooth loss and other health problems.
Dr. Joseph Mormino and his team offer comprehensive treatment options for periodontal or gum disease at their office in Staten Island, NY. Patients can take advantage of the full scope of treatment options, ranging from deep cleanings to implant placement. With an eye for detail and a special emphasis on preventive care, we can protect our patients’ beautiful smiles and healthy dental function.
What is Periodontal Disease?
Periodontal disease is an inflammation of the gums triggered by the buildup of bacteria. It is typically broken up into two stages: mild gingivitis and advanced periodontitis.
Left untreated, periodontal disease can spread from the gums to the tooth roots and surrounding soft tissue.
While bacteria are always present in the mouth, they are normally harmless. However, when they break down food that is trapped in the teeth, they produce acidic byproducts that irritate the gums. If left untreated, the gums may pull back from the teeth and leave the soft tissue and tooth roots below vulnerable to infection. In severe cases, periodontal disease can even lead to tooth loss and jawbone deterioration.
While insufficient dental hygiene is one of the most common causes of periodontal disease, it is more often the result of a number of different factors. Some of the best known include:
- Genetic predisposition
- Diets high in sugars or refined starches
- Advanced age
- Systemic health conditions, such as diabetes
Consequently, some people are more susceptible to developing gum disease than others. For these patients, attentive brushing and flossing and diet are essential to preventing inflammation. Regular cleanings can also help to keep bacteria from accumulating.
Unfortunately, the early stages of gum disease are often asymptomatic. When symptoms do develop, they can range from mild to severe. Consequently, it is essential that you keep track of unusual changes in your oral health. Patients should keep an eye out for signs such as:
- Visible redness
- Inflamed, sensitive gums
- Chronic bad breath
- Gum recession
- Tooth sensitivity
- Tooth loss
- Jawbone recession
However, because these symptoms can overlap with many other oral health conditions, patients should keep in mind that none of these are a sure sign of periodontal disease.
How advanced the disease is will determine the appropriate course of treatment. For gingivitis, a routine cleaning is often enough to eliminate bacteria and restore health.
However, more advanced cases usually require more aggressive care. For these patients, Dr. Mormino typically recommends a deep cleaning. Using a powerful, precise laser, he can clean out the pockets of bacteria. Once the site is completely clear, he can then smooth out rough spots on the tooth roots which can potentially serve as footholds for future bacterial infections.
Left untreated, periodontal disease can leave permanent marks on your smile.
Prevention is the best treatment for gum disease. In order to catch potential periodontal disease as early as possible, patients are encouraged to make routine cleanings a top priority. At every dental visit, your hygienist can remove bacteria before it reaches the deeper levels of your gums. These cleanings are also essential if you have already been diagnosed with periodontal disease. Regular care can protect your smile and reduce the risk of a flare-up.
Eliminate Periodontal Disease
Left untreated, periodontal disease can leave permanent marks on your smile. Reach out online or call at (718) 876-9100 to set up a consultation with Dr. Mormino.