A severe form of periodontal disease, periodontitis requires quick, efficient and thorough treatment to save your teeth. Our top rated Bronx periodontist offers more aggressive procedures that include a combination of medication and surgery. Your Bronx dentist, open on Saturday, with Sunday dentist hours available by appointment, works to repair the damage from the disease, but a lot depends on you too. Practice good oral health habits, and you can avoid periodontitis treatments.
Periodontitis is a serious gum disease that occurs when gingivitis extends down to the tooth root and into the supporting bone structure. Plaque and tartar buildup cause deep pockets to develop between your gums and teeth. Bacteria grows in these pockets, and an infection can take root. The bacteria and infection damages the bone structure responsible for supporting your teeth. Eventually, your teeth loosen and fall out.
Your dentist, open on Saturday and Sunday, works with you to alleviate the symptoms and causes of periodontitis. Though gingivitis can be treated and reversed, the more serious periodontitis may require ongoing treatment and even surgery, as it tends to be chronic once it appears.
The Reasons Periodontitis Develops
Whether chronic, aggressive or necrotizing, periodontitis develops the same way:
- Bacteria and saliva form plaque on your teeth.
- If not removed promptly, plaque hardens over time, progresses under the gum line and becomes tartar.
- Plaque and tartar cause gingivitis.
- Gingivitis worsens to become periodontal disease.
- The ongoing gum inflammation results in the infection present in periodontitis.
You’re more susceptible to periodontitis if you smoke cigarettes, have had poor oral hygiene in the past, have a family history of periodontal disease or have a compromised immune system. The best way to treat periodontitis is to prevent it by brushing, flossing and visiting your dentist (open on Sundays) on a regular basis.
Symptoms of Periodontitis
Most symptoms of the disease appear in less serious forms with the onset of gingivitis. Some symptoms worsen as periodontitis sets in. The most common periodontitis symptoms include:
- Swollen or puffy gums
- Bright red, dusky red or purplish color to your gums
- Gums that feel tender when touched
- Gums that bleed easily
- Gums that pull away or recede, making teeth look longer
- New spaces developing between your teeth
- Pus between your teeth and gums
- Bad breath
- Loose teeth
- Painful chewing
- Change in the way your teeth fit together when you bite
When you visit your Saturday dentist, he gives you a thorough exam and cleaning. You discuss your medical history to uncover any underlying issues. After measuring the depth of the pockets between your gum and teeth, your dentist takes X-rays to determine if you’ve suffered any bone damage.
The goal of periodontitis treatment is to thoroughly clean the pockets around your teeth and prevent damage or further damage to your surrounding bone. Your dentist, open on Saturday, customizes a treatment plan using non-surgical or surgical methods, depending on the severity of your disease. Non-surgical methods include the following:
- A process that removes tartar and bacteria from the tooth surface and below the gum line. Your Bronx dentist cleans with instruments, lasers or an ultrasonic device.
- Root planing. Rough spots on your teeth provide a tempting environment for bacteria. Smoothing these spots reduces the chance bacteria can take root. The process also removes any material contributing to inflammation.
- Topical mouthwashes, oral antibiotics and microspheres or chips inserted into the pockets fight the infection that accompanies periodontitis. You must follow your dentist’s instructions completely when taking antibiotics to receive the full benefit for your treatment.
Sometimes, surgery is needed to save your teeth. Surgical methods include:
- Flap surgery. Your dentist (open on Sunday) makes small incisions to clean and possibly re-contour any underlying bone loss with grafts. He then sutures your gum tissue tightly against your teeth to reduce bacteria-encouraging pockets.
- Soft gum tissue grafts. If you’ve lost gum tissue due to infection, you may need the remaining gum tissue reinforced. Your dentist uses a gum graft, taking a small amount of tissue from the roof of your mouth or another donor source and attaching it to the affected area at the same time the flap surgery is conducted.
- Bone grafting. Infection and bacteria can eat away or damage bone. During flap surgery, your dentist may take small fragments of your own bone, donated bone or synthetic material and graft it into place. The bone graft helps prevent tooth loss by holding your teeth in place and providing a platform for regrowth of your natural bone.
- Guided tissue regeneration. A special piece of biocompatible fabric is placed between existing bone and teeth as protection and a platform for bone regrowth. This is done in conjunction with grafting or on its own, depending on your immune system and dental needs.
- Tissue stimulating proteins. Along with grafting, your dentist may apply a special gel to your tooth’s diseased root. The gel contains the same proteins found in developing tooth enamel to stimulate the growth of healthy bone and tissue.
Your discomfort and recovery depend on which treatment plan your dentist in the Bronx recommends. As with any surgery, risks include continued infection or reaction to the medication. Any side effects can be treated, so let your dentist know of any unusual symptoms after your procedure. These treatments are often successful in treating periodontitis.
Do you have any questions about periodontitis treatment in the Bronx? Would you like to schedule an appointment with the best in the class dentist in the Bronx of Dentist in the Bronx NYC? Please contact our Bronx dentistry center for a consultation with the periodontitis specialist.