Periodontal treatment is necessary when various conditions affect the health of your gums and the regions of your jawbone that hold your teeth in place. Retaining your teeth is directly dependent on proper periodontal care and maintenance.
Healthy gums enhance the appearance of your teeth, like a frame around a beautiful painting. When your gums become unhealthy, they can either recede or become swollen and red.
In later stages, the supporting bone is destroyed and your teeth will shift, loosen, or fall out. These changes not only affect your ability to chew and speak. They also spoil your smile.
What is periodontal disease?
Periodontal disease is the main cause of tooth loss in adults. Over 80% of adults have some form of periodontal disease. It is an infection under the gum line that you do not feel.
Unless it is treated, this infection will eat away at the bone supporting your teeth and eventually your teeth become loose and are lost one at a time. This infection also penetrates into your gums and into your blood stream. It puts harmful bacteria into your blood stream which penetrates into your brain causing 3x the risk of strokes. It gets into your heart causing 2x the risk of heart disease and heart attacks. It makes Diabetes worse, it decreases the birth weight of newborn babies and even increases the risk of getting certain cancers. Treatment will to improve your overall health and help to save your teeth.
Why do you need to treat it now, rather than later?
“People think of gum disease in terms of their teeth, but they don’t think about the fact that gum disease is a serious infection that can release bacteria into the bloodstream”
Dr. Robert Genco, editor Journal of Periodontology
(Recent studies have shown that people with periodontal disease are 2.7 times more likely to suffer heart disease, and three times the risk of having a stroke. It makes Diabetes worse and decreases the birth weight of newborn babies. It also increase the risk of getting certain cancers.)
How does an “ongoing infection” work?
When you were a child, did you ever get a bad scrape that got all red and swollen? That was bacteria that got under your skin and caused an infection. It may have lasted for days or weeks. Finally your immune system conquered the bad bacteria and the infection healed. With periodontal disease, your immune system never wins the battle and the infection grows. Periodontal Disease is an ongoing infection in the gum pockets around your teeth. Your immune system is losing the battle, and without treatment, it will get worse; leading to tooth loss, increased risk of heart disease and increased risk of getting a stroke.
What increases your risk of periodontal disease?
People with Periodontal Disease cannot fight off the bacterial infection. This causes a continuing gum infection that grows in “bursts” of activity. Each time it grows, more bone support for your teeth is lost. Some factors which can cause gum disease are: poor oral hygiene, dental plaque, smoking, genetic factors, stress or tension, diet, age, illness (i.e. Diabetes), certain medications.
Symptoms of Periodontal Infection
Usually Periodontal Infection is painless until it reaches more advanced stages. However, there are some signs and symptoms which can indicate the presence of Periodontal Infection. These include: red or swollen gums; bleeding when brushing (pink toothbrush) or at other times; aching, itchy, sore or tender gums; receding gums (teeth beginning to look longer); bad breath; any change in the way your teeth fit together when you bite; loose, separating or protruding teeth; spaces between your teeth.
If you notice any of the above warning signs of Periodontal Infections, please contact your General Dentist and ask for a periodontal evaluation.
Important Note: Your gums can look quite normal and yet deep pockets of Periodontal Infection can be present. To be certain about Periodontal Disease, ask your Dentist or Periodontist to examine your gums for signs of infection.
Who is a Periodontist?
Your General Dentist is trained to detect and treat the early stages of Periodontal Disease. A Periodontist is a Dentist with two to three years of advanced training in the diagnosis and treatment of Periodontal Disease. They also perform other periodontal treatments, such as: crown lengthening and dental implants (see implant section) . Periodontics is one of 8 dental specialties recognized by the American Dental Association.
What are Dental Implants?
Quite simply. Dental implants are artificial replacement for natural tooth roots. They attach firmly into the gum and jawbone, becoming solid. Your General Dentist then places a crown onto this artificial tooth root which looks, feels and functions like a natural tooth. Implants can also be used to anchor partial dentures and full dentures.
Having a dental implant will avoid grinding down your natural teeth to fabricate a bridge as demonstrated in the above picture.
Advantages of Periodontal Disease
Dental Implants are one method of tooth replacement. Other methods are bridges, partial dentures and full dentures. Your General Dentist is the judge of which method is most appropriate.
What are some of the advantages of Dental Implants?
- More attractive appearance
- Speech improvement
- Greater comfort
- Better ability to chew food naturally
- You do not have to cut down and ruin your natural teeth for a fitted bridge
- Replacing a missing tooth with a permanent tooth
- Adds strength to your jawbone
Implants look and feel like natural teeth. As dental implants are fixed in the jaw and there are none of the problems that are associated with removable appliances such as dentures and partials, including:
- The slipping, irritation and pain that can accompany dentures
- The tedious removal for overnight soaking and cleaning
- The adhesives
What is the success rate of implants?
Dental Implants can last your entire life. If you are a non-smoker with good oral hygiene habits and are infection and disease free, the percentage is close to 99%.
How long will an implant last?
Dental implants integrate into the jawbone. Implants have been in patients’ mouths for 35 years or more. With excellent oral hygiene and regular check-ups and cleanings, your implant could last a lifetime.
Are Dental Implants expensive?
Dental implants do cost more than conventional crown and bridge work, but they will usually last longer since conventional crown and bridge work has to be replaced every 5-10 years and implants do not have to be replaced. Implants are much more economical over time.
Am I a Candidate for Implants?
Most people are candidates for dental implants. You must be evaluated by Dr. Oken & Dr. Cote who will diagnose your particular situation and determine if you can have implants placed in your mouth.
PERIODONTAL TREATMENT METHODS
If you have any questions regarding our products or services, please contact us by calling the office (718) 597-8457 or send us an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will get back to you as soon as possible. We look forward to hearing from you.
The purpose of Periodontal Treatment
Periodontal Disease is an ongoing infection in the pockets around the teeth. The deeper the pockets, the more infection you have, the more serious the infection. The purpose of Periodontal Treatment is to remove this infection and give these pockets a chance to heal and to add bone support to the teeth that have become weakened.
Initial Infection – Gingivitis
Infectious material in the upper levels of tooth pockets can be removed using specialized instruments. This procedure is called SCALING & ROOT PLANING. It is sometimes performed under local anesthesia and is different from a routine cleaning which is performed in a General Dentist’s office. This may be the only treatment you need.
Advanced Infection – Periodontitis
If your infection has gotten into the bone which supports your teeth, and is below the level that can be reached with specialized instruments, then a minor surgical procedure must be performed to pull back the gum and remove the lower level of infectious material and to increase the bone support around the weaker teeth.
Longer teeth, exposed tooth roots, or an uneven gum line can look unsightly. They can also increase your sensitivity to heat, cold or sweets. A Periodontist can place a GUM GRAFT to correct this problem.