Periodontal Disease Overview
Gum (periodontal) disease is a common but complex condition that impacts the oral health and wellness of many New York City patients. The progressive condition causes deterioration of the gum and bone tissues supporting the teeth and is the primary source behind tooth loss among adult patients. Common symptoms include gums that bleed, tender or inflamed gums, pus around teeth, gum recession, and teeth that feel loose or shift. Identifying the signs of gum disease and seeking treatment as early as possible can help reduce oral damage, preserve the health of your smile, and minimize its effects on your general health.
Gum disease is classified in the three stages known as gingivitis, periodontitis, and advanced periodontitis. To help all patients suffering from all phases of gum disease, our experienced periodontist at PDADental is pleased to offer expertise in nonsurgical and surgical care, including scaling and root planing and laser gum therapy. We encourage you to schedule a gum disease screening at our practice located in the Financial District of Lower Manhattan, NY if you believe gum disease may be affecting your oral health.
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Best Candidates for Periodontal Disease
Gum disease is caused by a buildup of plaque bacteria that slowly breaks down the tissues surrounding the teeth. In the early stages, pain is typically not a symptom, leaving many people unaware that is may be harming their health. Our periodontal team at PDADental routinely performs screenings for gum disease by measuring the spaces (periodontal pockets) between the teeth and gums and evaluating for bone loss on digital dental x-rays. Gum disease often exhibits a number of signs and symptoms, including bleeding gums, inflammation, red or tender gums, bad breath, pus, tooth mobility, bone loss, and periodontal pockets measuring over 3mm deep. The extent and severity of the signs and symptoms guide our periodontist and team in diagnosing the presence and stage of gum disease.
- Gingivitis: In this earliest stage, gum tissues generally bleed easily and are red and swollen. However, with timely care, gingivitis can be reversed and leaves behind no permanent damage.
- Periodontitis: Untreated gingivitis often progresses to periodontitis, during which the gums begin to separate from the teeth and the underlying bone sustains permanent damage and begins to breakdown. Early gum recession may be noticeable when periodontitis has developed.
- Advanced periodontitis: When gum disease reaches this stage, further bone loss has occurred and the teeth may be loose. Chronic bad breath and the presence of pus around the teeth may also be evident. Without immediate care, tooth loss is likely to occur.
Treating gum disease early on not only benefits your oral health — extensive evidence reveals a common link between gum disease and a number of systemic health conditions, such as heart disease, Type 2 diabetes, certain cancers, and several others.
What to Expect with Periodontal Disease
During your gum disease screening and exam, our clinical team will take digital x-rays of your teeth and jaw to determine if bone loss has occurred surrounding your teeth. We will also use a small ruler to measure the depth of the spaces between your teeth and gums (pockets). Bone loss on the x-rays coupled with periodontal readings over 3mm often indicates the presence of active periodontal infection. Our periodontist will carefully evaluate your condition and let you know if periodontal disease treatment is needed.
Gingivitis is often addressed with a good dental cleaning and better home care techniques. Cases of periodontitis and advanced periodontitis are often treated with nonsurgical scaling and root planing therapy, laser gum therapy, or a surgical procedure (for severe cases). Depending on your unique periodontal needs, your treatment may be completed in one or more visits. Once your gum disease is treated, bone or gum grafting may also be recommended to replenish lost tissue and restore function and health to your smile after.
Periodontal Disease Recovery
The recovery process following gum disease treatment will be based upon the type of procedure you received. Our team will provide instructions on how to care for your teeth and gums after your procedure. But keeping up with routine dental visits at PDADental is extremely important to preserving your oral structures and minimizes the risk of future damage. After your gum disease treatment, our periodontist will likely recommend a periodontal maintenance program to help you better manage oral bacteria and prevent flare-ups of active gum infection. Periodontal maintenance visits are generally scheduled every 3 – 4 months and include very thorough cleanings, exams, and close monitoring of your periodontal health. When gum disease has affected your mouth, regular six-month cleanings are generally no longer enough to provide the care your smile needs. Personalized tips on how to brush and floss effectively at home will also be provided by our team.
Periodontal Disease Insurance Coverage
Insurance coverage for periodontal disease treatments varies by the individual plan and provider. To gather an estimate of your anticipated coverage amount, our trained billing specialist will review your plan and estimate any personal expenses. PDADental is proud to bring affordable, high-quality care to meet your family's periodontal needs and accept CareCredit® financing plans and an array of options to make getting your care easy and convenient.
While periodontal disease cannot heal on its own, the team at PDADental works closely with each individual to treat the disease and manage oral tissues. Visiting a family dental practice and periodontist under one roof affords great convenience to your current and future needs, streamlining your care and ensuring you receive the highest level of service for your smile. To learn more about gum disease or to schedule your periodontal evaluation, contact our practice in the Financial District of Lower Manhattan, NY today.