Periodontal (Gum) Disease FAQs
Drs. Ed Romano, Matthew Vaccaro, and our in-house periodontist believe education is key to maintaining oral health. The following answers to some frequently asked questions about gum disease offer information on what you can do to reduce your risks of developing the condition, as well as how it can be treated.
Q: What preventative measures can I take to avoid periodontal disease?
A: Brushing and flossing everyday, as well as routine visits to the dentist for teeth and gum cleanings can help prevent gum disease and infection.
Q: How do I know if I am properly cleaning my teeth?
A: Basic guidelines include gently brushing the entire area of your teeth (especially where the gums and teeth meet), and flossing between every tooth. When you visit your dentist for regular cleanings, it is always a good idea to ask him or her if you are brushing and flossing correctly.
Q: How can I distinguish between gingivitis and periodontal disease symptoms?
A: Gingivitis is actually an early form of periodontal disease so the symptoms will be very similar. When you notice signs such as irritated and bleeding gums, increased gaps between your teeth and gums, and changes in your bite, you should not hesitate to visit a qualified dentist as initial symptoms can progress into more serious issues.
Q: What can periodontal disease lead to if left untreated?
A: Perhaps the most noticeable issue gum disease can lead to is the actual loss of teeth. The gums and jawbone can decay so far that they can no longer support and hold onto your teeth. Research is also being conducted to determine whether or not there is a correlation between gum disease and an increased risk of heart disease. So far, no conclusive evidence has been uncovered; however, inflammation in the gums can increase inflammation throughout the body, therefore potentially affecting the heart.
Q: What should I do if I have been diagnosed with gum disease?
A: You should visit a periodontist, such as Dr. Ed Romano, to discuss what treatments will best treat your particular case. If your gum disease is caught early, simply receiving a thorough cleaning from dentist or hygienist to remove plaque and tartar can be very beneficial towards starting the healing process. For more advanced cases, your periodontist will help you determine a proper course of action based on the severity of the disease. Effective treatments often include scaling and root planing (combined with antibiotics), as well as certain laser dentistry techniques.
For more information on periodontal disease, please contact our Morristown, NJ dentistry practice. Our friendly staff will be happy to help you schedule a consultation, as well as answer any questions you may have.