Advanced treatment for gingivitis and gum disease in Huntington, LI — with Dr. Elliot and Dr. Nick at Long Island Implant and Cosmetic Dentistry.
Identify signs of gum disease
Gum disease, also known as periodontal disease, is the inflammation of the gums and deeper periodontal structures. There are progressive stages of gum disease, but considering the early symptoms are often painless, this common condition is sometimes overlooked.
This inflamed tissue is initially caused by plaque that builds up on the teeth and gumline. Plaque is a thin film made up of food debris and bacteria. How can you recognize early symptoms of gum disease, which starts out as gingivitis? Be alert to the following signs:
- Unusual or increased bleeding from the gums, especially after brushing and flossing
- Bad breath
- Gum recession
- A wobbly tooth or teeth
- Gum tissue that is red and swollen
- Visible infection around the gum line
- Subtle changes in the positioning of the teeth
Because nicotine acts as a vaso-constrictor, smokers may not notice as much bleeding from the gums as those who do not use tobacco.
If left unchecked, early stages of gum disease can take a turn for the worse, resulting in damage to the deeper gum tissue and supporting bone. However, daily brushing and flossing combined with routine dental check-ups and cleanings can usually reverse gingivitis.
Our Long Island dentists will develop a custom treatment plan that works best for you. After your gum disease is under control, we can recommend steps to maintain excellent oral health.
What are the causes of periodontal disease?
More than 600 different types of harmless bacteria colonize the average mouth. When oral hygiene is compromised, or a person’s natural defense mechanisms are down, bacterial deposits can accumulate disrupting the natural balance between healthy and unhealthy bacteria.
People who use tobacco products or have diabetes are at a higher risk for developing gum disease, as they are more susceptible to infections that can rapidly spread.
Besides unchecked plaque build-up, the following are risk factors for gum disease:
- Genetic predisposition: Family history of periodontal disease
- Inadequate nutrition
- Hormone fluctuations during menopause, pregnancy and monthly cycles
- Systemic illnesses such as HIV, cancer and diabetes
- Medications that reduce saliva production
- Drugs like Procardia, Dilantin and Adalat, which induce abnormal gum tissue growth
- Poor oral hygiene habits
Treating gum disease
At our Long Island Dentistry practice, we can help you manage and treat gum disease using the most effective procedures and innovative technologies.
The type of treatment you’ll receive will depend on if you have mild inflammation or if gingivitis has progressed to full-blown periodontitis. In this stage, the supporting structures of the teeth have been damaged, which can cause loosening of teeth. Periodontitis is among the leading causes of tooth loss in adults today.
The goal of the treatment is to eradicate infection and mitigate any damage to the gum tissue and jawbone. In the case of advanced periodontitis, tooth extraction or oral surgery may be necessary.
Untreated gum disease can have negative impacts on your general health. Studies have demonstrated a causal link between gum disease and a heightening risk for cardiovascular disease as well as stroke and diabetes.
At our Huntington, LI office, patients may be offered the following treatments:
Scaling and Root Planing
Our highly trained staff provide deep cleanings known as scaling and root planings, which may be spaced over several weeks. During this treatment, plaque and tartar are gently removed down to the root of each periodontal pocket. Then, the root surfaces are cleaned and smoothed so they can eventually re-attach to the teeth.
This system uses air polishing to remove deep stains, and can complement our ultrasonic instrumentation.In some cases, deep cleaning and root planing are not enough to address late-stage gum disease. Dr. Nick and Dr. Elliot can advise if periodontal surgery or extractions are necessary.
Affordable dental care in Huntington, Long Island
If you are worried about the cost of gum disease treatment, we offer patients a number of convenient payment options and financing plans. The majority of Long Island dental insurance plans feature discounted rates for procedures outside the realm of preventive care. We will work with you to identify the best treatment course that is within your financial reach.
Remember, regular cleanings and check-ups at Long Island Implant & Cosmetic Dentistry can help you prevent gingivitis and gum disease. Stay on top of your oral health and schedule an appointment at our Huntington Station office today!