Periodontal diseases are infections of the gums, which gradually destroy the support of your natural teeth. There are numerous disease entities requiring different treatment approaches. Dental plaque is the primary cause of gum disease in genetically susceptible individuals. Daily brushing and flossing will prevent most periodontal conditions.
Why is oral hygiene so important?
Adults over 35 lose more teeth to gum diseases, (periodontal disease) than from cavities. Three out of four adults are affected at some time in their life. The best way to prevent cavities and periodontal disease is by good tooth brushing and flossing techniques, performed daily.
Periodontal disease and decay are both caused by bacterial plaque. Plaque is a colorless film, which sticks to your teeth at the gum line. Plaque constantly forms on your teeth. By thorough daily brushing and flossing you can remove these germs and help prevent periodontal disease.
Periodontal diseases can be accelerated by a number of different factors. However, it is mainly caused by the bacteria found in dental plaque, a sticky colorless film that constantly forms on your teeth. If not carefully removed by daily brushing and flossing, plaque hardens into a rough, porous substance known as calculus (or tartar).
Other important factors affecting the health of your gums include:
- Clenching and grinding teeth
- Poor nutrition
Bacteria found in plaque produces toxins or poisons that irritate the gums, which may cause them to turn red, swell and bleed easily. If this irritation is prolonged, the gums separate from the teeth, causing pockets (spaces) to form. As periodontal diseases progress, the supporting gum tissue and bone that holds teeth in place deteriorate. If left untreated, this leads to tooth loss.
Preventing Gum Disease
The best way to prevent gum disease is effective daily brushing and flossing as well as regular professional examinations and cleanings. Unfortunately, even with the most diligent home dental care, people still can develop some form of periodontal disease. Once this disease starts, professional intervention is necessary to prevent its progress.
Scaling and root planing: non-surgical periodontal therapy
Non-surgical treatment using scaling and root planing is the cornerstone of effective periodontal therapy, and Dr. Blaustein offers this deep-cleaning procedure under local anesthetic in his Chelsea, NYC office. Both are generally followed by adjunctive treatments like antimicrobials such as Chlorhexidine to control gingivitis and prevent further plaque build-up.
In addition, Dr. Blaustein may recommend that you use special fluoride toothpaste known as triclosan.
Scaling and root planing is a meticulous cleaning of the tooth’s deep root surfaces to remove tartar and hardened plaque (calculus) from gum pockets. The treatment also eradicates harmful toxins produced by bacteria. Both are performed using a combination of hand instruments and electronic ultrasonic scalers, intended to minimize discomfort. The ultrasonic scaler vibrates at a high frequency to remove plaque, calculus and other debris, which is washed away with the instrument’s water irrigation.
Dr. Blaustein typically starts with the ultrasonic instrument for removing large plaque deposits from the roots and crowns of the teeth. Hand instruments called periodontal curettes are also used to ensure the tooth’s surface is smooth and clean. Antiobiotic gels may be applied within deep periodontal pockets, to kill bacteria and infection.
Depending on the extent and severity of your periodontal disease, Dr. Blaustein may use an injectable anesthetic to numb the area or a topical agent that is applied within the gum pockets.
The level of discomfort can vary after scaling and root planing, but most patients can expect a little soreness afterward. Ibuprofen and other over-the-counter pain killers can alleviate any pain, which can also be avoided by gently flossing and brushing after the procedure.
Temporary tooth sensitivity to hot and cold temperatures and mild bleeding from the gums is normal – but this usually stops within seven days. To help expedite the healing process, it’s best to stop smoking since tobacco can hamper your body’s ability to fight off infections.
It’s important to remember that this periodontal therapy is most successful in the long-term only if patients continue to maintain good daily oral hygiene. Dr. Blaustein and his staff will suggest simple tips to help improve your recovery and deter future periodontal disease.
Affordable therapy for gum disease in Manhattan
For many patients in the greater New York City area, cost is one of the main obstacles to moving forward with periodontal treatment – whether non-invasive or surgical.
At Chelsea Dental Aesthetics, we understand the importance of preventative dental care and offer affordable dental care and a number of low-interest payment plans that won’t break the bank. In addition, Dr. Blaustein accepts the CareCredit healthcare card for all dental procedures and offers special discounts for senior citizens.
If you have any questions about non-surgical periodontal therapy, or would like to schedule any type of general dentistry procedure with Dr. Blaustein at his state-of-the-art Midtown area dental practice, please call London Terrace Phone Number 212-243-6081.