Gum Disease

Bar and Smith Dental

General Dentists & Cosmetic Dentists located in Upper East Side, New York, NY

Over time, you can develop gum disease, also known as periodontal disease, due to bad oral health habits along with plaque and bacteria build up. Eventually, this causes your gums to become inflamed, bleed, and can even lead to tooth loss. Isaac Bar, DMD, and Tyler Smith, DMD, at Bar and Smith Dental in the Upper East Side of New York City, can help you take control of your oral health by learning how to treat and prevent gum disease. Call the office or schedule your appointment online.

Gum Disease Q & A

What is gum disease?

Gum disease, known as periodontal disease, is a chronic gum infection that bacterial growth in your mouth causes.

There are several gum disease symptoms you should know, including:

  • Tooth sensitivity
  • Receding gums
  • Red or swollen gums
  • Foul breath
  • Loose teeth

It’s important for the dental staff to examine you if you experience any of the above symptoms because gum disease can lead to tooth loss.

What are the stages of gum disease?

The three different stages of gum disease are:

Gingivitis

Gingivitis is the mildest form of gum disease where your gums are slightly swollen and irritated. Gum disease is reversible at this stage if you consistently brush and floss your teeth daily and get professional cleanings twice a year.

Periodontitis

If you let gingivitis advance, it becomes periodontitis. At this stage, your gums bleed and are inflamed. Additionally, your gums begin to detach from your teeth, forming pockets where food can get stuck and cause further damage.

Advanced periodontitis

In this stage, the connective tissue holding your teeth in place begins to deteriorate, causing your teeth to loosen and even fall out. You’ll experience severe bad breath, pain, and a ghastly taste in your mouth.

How does a dentist treat gum disease?

Bar and Smith Dental treats mild cases of gum disease through professional cleanings where they remove plaque and tartar at a minimum of twice a year.

If your gum disease is more advanced, your dentist can perform scaling and root planing, which is a deep cleaning treatment below the gumline. It involves your dentist scraping the plaque off of your teeth and removing it from deep periodontal pockets. This can slowly help your gums reattach to your teeth. Gum grafting is also available for advanced periodontitis to replace areas of lost gum tissue.

How do I prevent gum disease?

Gum disease is typically slow to progress, so it can become advanced before any real problems emerge. Below are several steps you can take to prevent it.           

  • Limit your intake of sugary drinks and foods
  • Try to avoid alcohol and tobacco use
  • Brush, floss, and use mouthwash daily

Having a properly aligned smile can help you prevent gum disease, so you may want to consider Invisalign®.

Preventing gum disease comes down to optimizing your oral hygiene practices. Contact Bar and Smith Dental today for a professional teeth cleaning and exam.