Periodontal Therapy Can Manage Gum Disease and Improve Your General Health
Patients with mild to moderate gum disease can benefit from non-surgical periodontal therapy, including laser treatments or scaling and root planing at our Lakeview, NY, dental practice. Dr. Brian Hirschfield has over 25 years of experience treating periodontal disease and helping patients maintain healthy smiles. Periodontal disease causes many issues, such as bleeding gums, bone loss, and tooth loss. Gum disease has also been directly linked to other health risks and complications, such as heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. When you improve your gum health, you protect your general health as well.
A Closer Look at Gum Disease
Periodontal disease is caused by a bacterial infection in the gums. Genetics are a significant factor concerning risk, and many patients must get more frequent cleanings with their hygienist in order to keep their gums healthy. When treated proactively, however, gum disease can usually be successfully controlled.
When you improve your gum health, you protect your general health as well.
Because the symptoms are not always painful, some patients do not even realize they have periodontal issues. It is important to see your dentist for regular checkups to evaluate your overall oral health. Signs to look out for include:
- Bleeding or swollen gums
- Bad taste in your mouth
- Tender gums
- Gum recession
- Loose teeth
- Bad breath
Causes of Periodontal Disease
Plaque buildup and poor oral health are the main causes of periodontal bacteria. Other common causes include:
- Tobacco Use: Studies reveal smoking is one of the most noteworthy risk factors for periodontal disease.
- Medications: The medications you take can have a significant negative effect on your overall oral health. Certain medications for birth control, anxiety, and blood pressure can affect your oral health. Be sure to tell your dentist what medications you are currently taking.
- Pregnancy: Any time there is a hormonal change in the body, your gum health can suffer.
- Diet: Poor nutrition can lead to a compromised immune system, making it more difficult to ward off infection.
- Diabetes: Frequent variations in blood sugar levels can lead to a higher risk of gum disease.
- Teeth Grinding: Grinding your teeth can lead to several dental issues, and can exacerbate the symptoms of periodontal disease.
Procedures to Treat Periodontal Disease
Dr. Hirschfield will assess your periodontal health by measuring the pockets around each tooth with a special instrument during your examination. Mild to moderate cases of gum disease can usually be treated with conservative, non-surgical procedures.
Scaling and Root Planing
Also known as a deep cleaning, this procedure is similar to a routine cleaning with your hygienist. However, in this case, the gums are also numbed with local anesthesia so the clinician is able to clean deep under the gum line without causing discomfort. If you struggle with dental anxiety, speak with our office about the additional sedation methods we provide.
During treatment, a variety of ultrasonic instruments and hand scalers are used to thoroughly clean the surfaces of the dental roots. This helps to remove the plaque and calculus deposits that breed bacteria. A locally delivered antimicrobial treatment may also be placed along the gum line to help fight infection.
Soft tissue lasers can be used either alone or in conjunction with scaling and root planing. The laser operates on a precise wavelength, removing damaged gum tissue while leaving the healthy areas unaffected. Additionally, the use of laser therapy helps to cauterize and seal deep periodontal pockets.
Learn More About Your Periodontal Health
Although periodontal disease cannot be cured, it can typically be maintained with proper care. If you are experiencing sign of gum disease, you may need periodontal therapy. Call our office at (585) 346-3028, or visit Lakeview Dental online to schedule a consultation with Dr. Hirschfield.