Treating Gum Disease to Maintain Your Oral Health

Close-up of a woman's smile.Periodontal (gum) disease affects nearly half of the American population. When plaque and tartar build up between teeth and below the gumline, the gum tissue can become infected. As time passes, periodontal disease will cause gums to swell, bleed, and recede. It can also lead to tooth and bone loss. Furthermore, significant gum infections can increase a patient’s risk of diabetes, stroke, and heart disease. Dr. Salem and Dr. Peña use a holistic approach when treating gum disease at the Long Island, NY practice, addressing the condition within the context of a patient’s overall health. If you are experiencing symptoms of gum disease, please contact our office today to schedule a personal consultation.

Causes of Periodontal Disease

Although poor oral hygiene is the most common cause of gum disease, there are a number of other factors that can contribute to its progression: 

  • Smoking or tobacco use
  • Pregnancy
  • Medications that alter hormonal balance
  • Misaligned teeth
  • Bruxism (teeth grinding)

During a personal consultation, one of the Smiles on broadway doctors will review your overall health and any medications you might be taking to determine the cause of gum disease.

Gum Disease and Your Overall Health

Many patients do not realize that oral health can have a significant impact on overall health. Research has shown that periodontal disease increases the risk of health conditions such as diabetes, dementia, rheumatoid arthritis, and heart disease. Additionally, when bacteria is allowed to proliferate around the gums, it becomes easier for it to enter the bloodstream and affect other areas of the body. This is just one reason why regular checkups and cleanings every six months are so important. As with any health condition, gum disease can be treated most effectively in its earliest stages.

Treating Periodontal Disease

If gum disease is identified at an early stage, our team will often prescribe a mouthwash as an effective treatment. Holistic mouthwashes work by preventing plaque from sticking to the surface of your teeth. However, when periodontal disease has progressed past the point where mouthwashes can be effective, Drs. Salem or Peña may have one of our trained registered dental hygienists perform a scaling and root planing procedure. This treatment is essentially a more extensive version of a standard oral cleaning. We will eliminate plaque that has accumulated below the gumline, and administer medications in any pockets that may have developed in the gums. When gum disease has advanced beyond these early stages, and gum recession has occurred, a surgical intervention may be necessary to help restore your gum tissue and oral health. These can include soft tissue grafting and pocket reduction surgery. Our dentists can help you determine which treatment is appropriate, based on the stage of gum disease you are experiencing.

Schedule a Periodontal Consultation

By maintaining healthy gums, you can support a beautiful smile, as well as your overall health. If you are concerned about the health of your gums, and would like to learn more about how one of our highly educated dentist can help to restore your oral health, please contact our office to make an appointment.