Periodontal Disease

Nearly 64.7 million Americans between the ages 30 and 65 are suffering from some form of periodontal or gum disease. Given such a high number of cases, it’s an underreported health crisis. That’s why Dr. John Koutsoyiannis at Sohosmile places so much emphasis on periodontics and gum disease treatment.

Dental plaque is the root cause of much of the trouble. Plaque is a sticky, colorless substance that forms on your teeth when food left on your teeth meets the bacteria already living in your mouth. If untreated, plaque hardens to form tartar. The longer tartar stays on your teeth, the more damage it does, potentially leading to severe periodontal disease.

Symptoms of Periodontal Disease

An early sign that you have the beginnings of periodontal disease may be bad breath. Although there are a number of factors that can cause halitosis, bad breath that persists despite your attempts to eradicate it by using mouthwash can be an early symptom that you need periodontal disease treatment.

In addition to halitosis, dentist in SoHo NY Dr. John watches for other symptoms that point to a case of gum disease that could include:

  • Swollen gums
  • Bright red or purplish gums
  • Gums that are tender to touch
  • Bleeding gums
  • Pain while chewing
  • Loose teeth
  • Sensitivity to extreme temperatures
  • Pus between your teeth and gums
  • Spaces between your teeth that look bigger
  • A receding gum line that makes your teeth seem longer

Understanding the Disease

Periodontal disease is a serious gum infection that can create havoc in your gums and the bones that support your teeth. Severe gum disease can cause loose teeth and even the loss of teeth. Periodontal disease seems to appear linked with heart diseasediabetes, a stroke history and respiratory disease. There’s also a relationship between premature birth and periodontal disease.

A build-up of the disease occurs over time, due to either improper oral hygiene or no dental hygiene regimen at all. In fact, there are three periodontal disease stages. If it’s caught early enough — such as during the gingivitis stage — the damage caused by the disease is minimal and reversible. The periodontal disease stages increase in severity as the disease progresses. The three stages are:

  1. Gingivitis, a mild case of the disease, during which your gums become irritated and red
  2. Periodontitis, a more severe case of the disease, when your infected gums begins to weaken the bone holding your teeth in place
  3. Severe periodontal disease, when your gums start receding and pulling away from your teeth, leading them to loosen and fall out

Preventing Severe Periodontal Disease

Brushing twice a day and flossing at least once a day reduces the amount of plaque to a minimum, especially along your gum line and between your teeth. But you still need twice-a-year visits to your family dentist. A professional cleaning is still one of the best ways to prevent the periodontal disease stages.

Without regular cleanings, the disease progresses. It forms pockets between your gum and teeth, which fill up with plaque, tartar and bacteria, causing pain, pus and tooth decay. As the pockets grow, your teeth loosen and eventually may even fall out.

Your Periodontal Disease Treatment

Depending on the periodontal disease stages that you’re experiencing, Sohosmile in NY can treat you in several ways. While brushing and flossing helps remove plaque, these normal at-home oral health habits are insufficient to remove tartar. You may need periodontal disease treatment like scaling or root planning, possibly along with a course of antibiotics.

For severe cases, bone grafting to stop further tooth loss is necessary. You may also need soft tissue grafting to replace receded gums. Pocket reduction surgery and tissue regeneration are also effective techniques that combat the disease. The latest treatment technique is laser gum surgery.