Periodontal Disease in Buffalo, NY
Dr. Todd Shatkin is an experienced dentist providing affordable treatment of periodontal disease in Buffalo, NY. If you or a loved one is dealing with bleeding gums, contact Aesthetic Associates Centre today to arrange your free consultation and put an end to your periodontal disease today!
Healthy teeth and gums are essential to overall health and wellness. Periodontal disease affects the gums, ligaments, and bones in your mouth and can lead to tooth loss.
While the loss of a tooth can be devastating, periodontal disease has been connected with many other serious medical conditions, such as heart disease, stroke, respiratory disease, and diabetes.
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Knowing the signs of periodontal disease and having regular dental check-ups is essential to keeping your teeth and body in optimal health.
What is Periodontal Disease?
Periodontal diseases are infections of the gums, ligaments, and bones around the teeth. The early stage, known as gingivitis, affects only around the gumline. Deep pockets develop in the space between the gums and the teeth, allowing bacteria to become trapped. This leads to swollen and bleeding gums, which is the first sign of periodontal disease.
If gingivitis is left untreated, it progresses to periodontitis. This serious gum infection begins to damage the soft tissue and bone that supports the tooth. If left untreated, this can affect the stability of the tooth, often leading to loose teeth or tooth loss.
Other signs of periodontal disease can include:
- Changes in gum appearance – you may notice swelling, redness, discoloration
- Gums that are tender to the touch
- Bleeding gums
- Receding gums, making your teeth look longer than normal
- Pus pockets between the teeth and gumline
- Bad breath
- Loose teeth
- Pain when chewing
- A noticeable change in your bite, indicating teeth may be loose
What Causes Periodontal Disease?
Plaque is the sticky substance filled with bacteria that forms on your teeth. Regular brushing and flossing help remove the plaque build-up on your teeth before it forms tartar. If oral hygiene is not up to par or if there are underlying medical conditions, that plaque can fall below the gumline into pockets between the gums and teeth.
Here, the bacteria are protected and allowed to thrive. As the bacteria creates an infection, your body’s immune system kicks in and releases a substance to fight the bacteria, but it also causes inflammation and the destruction of the gums, supporting tissue, and bone. This leads to bleeding gums and gingivitis and, if left untreated, progresses to periodontitis and tooth loss.
Risk Factors for Periodontal Disease
While regular oral hygiene is essential to reduce plaque and your risk of periodontal disease, other factors can contribute to your risk factor. Some of these include:
- Genetics – Unfortunately, many people have a genetic susceptibility to periodontal disease. If this is the case, good oral hygiene and frequent dental visits are essential to maintain good oral health and reduce the risk.
- Smoking – Smoking can contribute to deeper pockets along the gumline and can contribute to treatment-resistant periodontal disease. Smokers are more likely to see increased tooth loss.
- Misaligned teeth or dental work – Overcrowded teeth, overlapping teeth, braces, or bridgework can pose a challenge for brushing and flossing. This leaves plaque on surfaces and can make it easier for pockets and infection to form.
- Medications – Certain medications can cause mouth dryness. Without the normal levels of salvia, plaque develops at a greater rate. Other medications can cause enlarged gums that can then trap plaque between the gums and teeth.
- Underlying medical conditions – Certain medical conditions, such as Sjogren’s or diabetes, can increase your risk of developing periodontal disease.
Treatments for Periodontal Disease
The main goal of periodontal disease treatment is to treat the infection by thoroughly cleaning out the pockets and preventing damage to the surrounding tissue and bone. Non-surgical treatments include deep cleanings and antibiotics. During a deep cleaning, scaling removes tartar and bacteria from the tooth surface and from the pockets in the gum. Root planing smoothes the surfaces of the tooth root.
In advanced cases of periodontitis, surgical intervention may be necessary. Flap surgery, also known as pocket reduction surgery, cuts and pulls back the gum from the tooth root and allows for deeper scaling and planing, as well as bone recontouring if necessary. Once complete, the dentist sutures the gum back into place.
Soft tissue grafts can help when the gumline recedes and needs additional reinforcement. Tissue is taken from the roof of your mouth and attached to the recessed gumline.
When periodontitis destroys the bone surrounding the tooth, a bone graft is often necessary. Small fragments of your bone or synthetic bone are put in place to help stimulate regrowth of natural bone and help prevent tooth loss. Guided tissue regeneration is another method to help stimulate bone regrowth.
Preventing Periodontal Disease
The best way to prevent periodontal disease is good oral hygiene. Regular brushing and flossing help to remove the plaque on your teeth. Regular dental visits and cleanings allow your dentist to help you maintain good oral care, as well as catch periodontal disease early, before it severely damages tissue and causes tooth loss.
If you or a loved one are experiencing signs of periodontal disease, give us a call today to set up a free consultation with Dr. Todd Shatkin at the Aesthetic Associates Centre. Let his 30+ years of experience help put an end to your gum disease.
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