Local periodontist, Dr. David Weinstock provides personalized treatment plans for varying stages of gum disease. Dr. Weinstock is a highly trained periodontist with years of experience treating patients with varying stages of gum disease. Treating gum disease is one of the dental services that Dr. Weinstock provides.
The Dangers of Periodontal Disease
Bacterial plaque is a soft, sticky, toxic mass that attaches to teeth along and underneath the gum line. If you do not remove the plaque with regular brushing and flossing, it hardens and becomes tartar or calculus. As the tartar develops, it forms a cohesive bond with the root surface of the tooth. Tartar can only be removed by the dentist or hygienist through scaling and root planing (SRP). If left untreated, gum disease will progress through various stages causing a lot of damage to your teeth, gums, and the underlying bone. Tooth loss, gum recession, and bone loss is likely. Periodontal disease can even affect your overall health. There have been many studies done that have linked it to heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and more.
Stages of Gum Disease
The stages of gum disease progress relatively quickly. The sooner we are able to diagnose and treat gum disease, the less damage it can cause, and the better we can prevent it from progressing into further stages. Continue reading to learn more about the stages of gum disease.
Gingivitis: Gingivitis is the first stage of gum disease. During this stage, the gums become inflamed and may bleed upon contact. This is the most common form of periodontal disease, and with an increased oral hygiene routine it can be treated without any permanent damage.
Initial Periodontitis: Inital Periodontitis is the second stage of periodontal disease. During this stage, the infection begins to spread further into the pockets of gum tissue. Bacteria can become caught in inflamed gum tissue pockets. Gums may appear to be inflamed, bleed often, hurt to touch and begin to form pockets around teeth. This stage is still reversible, and damage is not permanent if caught and treated properly.
Mild Periodontitis: Once you have reached the third stage of gum disease, damage begins to be permanent. The surface and structure of teeth begin to become infected and rot away. At this point, patients may have already lost anywhere from 20-50% of their tooth and bone structure. Treatment is used to manage the infection so that it does not worsen and cause further damage, however, previous damage cannot be reversed.
Advanced Periodontitis: The final stage of periodontal disease is known as advanced periodontitis. Once a patient has reached this stage, they have lost a significant amount of bone and damage is irreversible. Patients’ gums will appear inflamed and red, and they will ache often. Tooth loss is also a major concern at this stage. Treatment is highly recommended and can be used to manage the infection and preserve the remaining tooth and gum structure.
Signs & Symptoms of Gum Disease
Like most dental health concerns, early diagnosis helps create a plan for effective and conservative treatment options before more advanced issues surface. Remember, sometimes you may not even know you have periodontal issues because it is a silent disease in its early stages. If you notice any of the following changes in your oral health, be sure to contact our Bala Cynwyd dentist office.
- Bleeding gums
- Chronic halitosis
- Loose teeth
- Shifting of teeth
- Change in the fit of oral appliance
- Swollen gums
- Receding gums
Periodontal Therapy in Philadelphia, PA
Healthy gums are the basis of good oral health. Your gum health is essential in maintaining the integrity and structure of your smile. Your dentist will determine which treatment is best for you based on the progression of the disease.
Dr. Weinstock will also take into consideration any other oral health concerns you may have developed. Treating gum disease requires cleaning the gums and deep tissue pockets of bacteria and tartar so that the gums can properly heal.
Preventative Dental Hygiene
You can take preventative measures that will prevent or slow the progression of gum disease. Twice daily brushing and flossing are every patient’s first defense against the development of gum disease. Oral hygiene is crucial to a healthy smile, and to prevent gum disease.
If you need tips on proper techniques, our compassionate staff will be happy to give you some pointers. Preventative dental care is also a big factor in preventing gum disease. Visiting Dr. Weinstock at least twice a year for professional dental cleanings can remove tartar you can not reach with your daily oral hygiene routine. It also gives him and our team to examine your smile, and catch any signs of gum disease before it causes permanent damage.
Scaling & Root Planing
If gum disease has already begun to develop, Dr. Weinstock may recommend scaling and root planing. Scaling and root planing (SRP) refers to the meticulous polishing of the tooth surface and cleaning of roots and the surrounding tissues. It is relatively pain-free and establishes a healthy environment necessary for healing.
Gum Disease FAQs
Do you have further questions about gum disease treatment in our office? Continue reading to find answers to frequently asked questions in our office.
Can gum disease cause tooth loss?
Yes. Periodontitis is the advanced stage of gum disease and can lead to tooth loss. Gum disease attacks soft gum tissue and jawbone. As the disease progresses the risk of tooth loss increases. Your teeth will become loose and can die off if you do not address your periodontitis professionally and with an increased oral hygiene routine.
Is gum disease contagious?
No. Gum disease is not contagious. You can not transfer it to another person through kissing if you have the disease. Although, this is not to say that bacteria that cause gum disease can not be shared. Be sure to let your dentist know if you think you may have gum disease.
Can gum disease recur after treatment?
Yes, unfortunately you will always be at risk for gum disease even after it has been treated. Periodontal disease will occur anytime proper oral hygiene is not maintained. This involves Regular dental visits and continued adherence to good oral care practices are vital to prevent recurrence.
Do I need to see a specialist for periodontal disease?
In most cases, Dr. Weinstock can treat your gum disease. Mild to moderate gum disease is highly treatable with the proper care from a highly trained general dentist. However, for periodontitis, Dr. Weinstock may need to refer you to a periodontist which is a gum disease specialist. After your consultation, we will be able to determine which state of gum disease you are in and what kind of care you need.
Can gum disease be reversed?
Gingivitis, which is the mild form of gum disease, is easily treatable and can be reversed. If Dr. Weinstock diagnoses you with gingivitis, he will recommend professional cleanings and advise you on how to better care for your teeth and gums at home. However, periodontitis, which is a more advanced stage of gum disease, will lead to irreversible damage. We can offer treatment to prevent the progression of the disease but the damage it has caused is permanent.
How can I prevent gum disease?
The easiest way to prevent gum disease is to maintain excellent oral hygiene. This includes brushing your teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste, floss at least once a day, and add mouthwash into your oral hygiene routine daily. It is also very important to visit your general dentist twice a year for a routine checkup. This appointment will include a teeth cleaning that will remove built-up plaque and tartar that often leads to gum disease. Additionally avoiding smoking, managing diabetes, and maintaining a healthy lifestyle will support your gum health.
Schedule an Appointment for Periodontal Therapy in Philadelphia, Pa
If you have concerns about the health of your gums, schedule an appointment today with Dr. Weinstock. He will conduct a periodontal screening to look for sign and symptoms of gum disease and suggest the appropriate treatment for you. We offer periodontal therapy in Philadelphia, PA that will target your individual needs. Contact our office to schedule your appointment by calling (215) 857-8054 or request an appointment online by filling out the form.