Dr. Iott & Espinosa
The Art of Cosmetic Dentistry
471 Third Avenue, New York, NY 10016
Caring for your gums
Your gums are one of the most important structures that support your teeth. It is important to take good care of them to avoid gum related diseases like the very common Periodontal Disease.
During your comprehensive first visit, the specialists will assess your gingiva, plaque, and calculus levels, as well as diagnosing your general gum health.
Periodontitis is one of the many serious gum diseases that affects the tissue around a tooth, leading to tooth loss and decay. It’s an infection of the gums and bone that support the teeth. It is usually a chronic inflammatory disease that can go on for years before you even notice any symptoms. This condition, in which the underlying bone and gum tissues are attacked in an infectious manner, can result in tooth loss.
Nearly 80% of people over thirty are afflicted by this condition. The remarkably destructive signs are not even noticeable. Most people don't feel pain, particularly in early stages. Periodontitis and other related diseases can be treated if detected early. If any of these conditions go untreated or a doctor fails to diagnose them, they can progress to catastrophic levels and cause extensive tooth and gum damage.
The main cause of periodontal disease is the accumulation of plaque. Plaque is a sticky, often invisible, film of bacteria and food that forms constantly on your teeth. If plaque isn’t removed entirely on a daily basis, or it accumulates and mineralizes it becomes tartar, which is also called calculus.
Tartar can only be removed by a professional as it is impossible for you to remove it on your own. Neither your toothbrush nor floss will dislodge it. It migrates down to the root surfaces of the teeth. Bacteria that causes periodontal disease thrives in these areas and produces toxins that destroy the underlying bone surrounding your teeth. Other causes include:
Hormonal changes during pregnancy or puberty can make you more susceptible to gum disease
Bad daily habits such as teeth grinding or jaw clenching
Medical conditions that inhibit the body’s ability to produce sugar, such as diabetes or kidney disease
Poor saliva flow due to medications that result in a dry mouth
The first stage of periodontal disease is gingivitis in which symptoms include red or swollen gingiva (gums), blood on your toothbrush or while flossing, gums that bleed after eating, or a bad taste in your mouth (halitosis).
Loose teeth or the shifting of teeth may indicate a more advanced stage of periodontal disease in which there has been some bone loss.
If you are experiencing symptoms of periodontitis, such as bleeding gums, sensitive or red gums, bad breath, and loose or shifting teeth, it’s imperative that you schedule an appointment immediately to have your gums evaluated.
Through methods such as restorative dentistry, which includes several laser surgery treatments, and non-surgical periodontal therapy, the damage caused by gum disease can be halted and reversed.
While surgical methods can lengthen crowns for aesthetic purposes, the goal behind non-surgical periodontal therapy is to remove plaque and restrict the growth of harmful bacteria. If gum disease is caught early, often this is all that’s needed.
Periodontal therapy strategies include:
Antibiotics – The most effective method of combating periodontitis is by controlling, reducing and eliminating bacteria and bacteria growth through antibiotics. It can be applied directly to the infected area in the form of a powder or an antibacterial mouthwash can be prescribed.
Scaling – Removing plaque from the teeth directly below the gum line
Root Planning – Allows tissues to reattach to the surface of your teeth
Bite Correction – An improper bite can catalyze tooth decay.