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Understanding Periodontal Disease and How to Treat It

Christine O'Kelly
Aug 26, 2008
As any dentist can attest, periodontal diseases (which include periodontitis and gingivitis) are among the most common issues that people deal with when caring for their teeth. They manifest as an inflammation or infection in the gum tissue. Over time, these diseases begin to cause deterioration in the pockets of the gums in which your teeth rest.

As the deterioration progresses, there is increased tooth decay and eventual tooth loss may occur. Gingivitis is usually reversible with the proper treatment. If treatment isn't applied, the condition can evolve into periodontitis. Below, you'll learn about symptoms of periodontal disease, common treatment methods and how to prevent its development in the first place.

Symptoms Of Periodontal Disease

One of the most prevalent signs that some form of periodontal disease (usually gingivitis) has developed is red or bleeding gums. It happens mostly when brushing your teeth or during flossing. Another symptom is consistently bad breath. There may even be a mildly metallic taste in your mouth. When the gum disease has progressed further, you may begin to notice some of your teeth feeling loose. This is due to the deterioration and recession of the gum line. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, it's time to visit a dentist who can begin resolving the issue and restoring the health of your teeth and gums.

Methods Of Treatment

The type of treatment applied will often depend upon how far the gum disease has progressed. Usually, a periodontist in New York or your city will first begin removing the plaque that has collected around and below the gum line. It's not uncommon for the procedure to require multiple visits. If the gum disease has progressed deeper into the periodontal pockets of the gums, more aggressive treatment may be necessary. This can entail a surgical procedure with the objective of removing plaque and other material (including bacteria) that is found deeper within the gum pockets.

How To Prevent Periodontal Disease

Most dentists agree that preventing the onset of periodontal disease begins with taking daily steps to promote simple oral hygiene. That includes brushing thoroughly and flossing diligently each day. Were you to consult a New York dentist who has experience in treating all levels of periodontal disease, he would recommend pointing your toothbrush directly into your gum line while brushing. Doing so can dislodge and stem the growth of bacteria. Also, a mouthwash that includes a hydrogen peroxide agent can reverse gingivitis if the condition has not advanced too far.

Finding The Right Dentist

If you're looking for a New York dentist who can treat periodontal disease, ask about laser treatment options. Rather than using the conventional scaling and root technique, he can employ a laser to painlessly remove plaque and bacteria from within the gum pocket. Once the debris is removed from inside the pocket, the laser can close the opening and allow the gum to heal around the teeth. While the traditional method of resolving gingivitis and periodontitis are viable options, a periodontist in New York who has invested in laser equipment can provide a more effective solution.

While most dentists can perform many of the procedures that are necessary to reverse or resolve periodontal disease, try to find a specialist who focuses on helping clients who have gum disease. There are thousands of board-certified periodontists throughout the country. If you don't live near a New York dentist, you can feel comfortable consulting any trained dental professional.
About the Author
Christine O'Kelly is a writer for Smile in the City, the online home of a New York dentist, periodontists in New York, and his team of specialists who offer solutions such as dental implants, teeth straightening, laser periodontal plastic surgery, and full mouth reconstruction.
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