Treating Gum Disease in Staten Island
A widespread condition, three out of every four people have a form of periodontal disease, also known as gum disease. Given the broad population that is affected, our belief at Grandview Dental Office is that thorough evaluation of each patient’s dental health allows us to provide comprehensive treatment. This is why Staten Island dentist, Dr. Ralph Tarantino, bases treatment plans on the type and severity of disease to provide patients with an appropriate level of care.
Periodontal treatment methods depend upon the type and severity of the disease. Your dentist and dental hygienist will evaluate for periodontal disease and recommend the appropriate treatment.
Periodontal disease progresses as the sulcus (pocket or space) between the tooth and gums gets filled with bacteria, plaque, and tartar, causing irritation to the surrounding tissues. When these irritants remain in the pocket space, they can cause damage to the gums and eventually, the bone that supports the teeth!
If the disease is caught in the early stages of gingivitis, and no damage has been done, one to two regular cleanings will be recommended. You will also be given instructions on improving your daily oral hygiene habits and having regular dental cleanings.
If the disease has progressed to more advanced stages, a special periodontal cleaning called scaling and root planing (deep cleaning) will be recommended. It is usually done one quadrant of the mouth at a time while the area is numb. In this procedure, tartar, plaque, and toxins are removed from above and below the gum line (scaling) and rough spots on root surfaces are made smooth (planing). This procedure helps gum tissue to heal and pockets to shrink. Medications, special medicated mouth rinses, and an electric tooth brush may be recommended to help control infection and healing.
If the pockets do not heal after scaling and root planing, periodontal surgery may be needed to reduce pocket depths, making teeth easier to clean. Your dentist may also recommend that you see a Periodontist (specialist of the gums and supporting bone).
Why Get Treatment for Periodontal Disease?
Plaque, a bacterial film that forms on the teeth, is the cause of gum disease. Without treatment, this film hardens into tartar on the surface while also travelling below the gum line, leading to inflammation of the gums and creating deeper spaces between the teeth and gums where further infection can develop. At this point, the spread of bacteria has substantially impacted the underlying connections that hold teeth in place. This may leave patients with loose teeth and diminished facial structure as advanced disease causes loss of supporting bone and recession of gum tissue.
When gum disease is detected early, Dr. Tarantino can recommend a wider variety of less invasive treatment options.
Non-Surgical Treatment for Periodontal Disease
During the earliest stage of gum disease, professional cleanings coupled with more intensive at-home dental care are effective means of clearing gingivitis. Patients to our Staten Island dental practice will receive advice on improving their daily home care routine to protect their smiles from the return of disease.
If disease has progressed to periodontitis, deep cleaning is often recommended. More comprehensive than standard cleanings, deep cleaning consists of dental scaling and root planing. Dental scaling involves removing plaque, tartar, and other irritants both from the surface of the teeth as well as below the gum line. To reduce the pocket depth and encourage proper healing, the tooth roots will be smoothed through the process of root planing. Typically, these areas are numbed while the procedure takes place to ensure patient comfort.
To further control infection and promote recovery, Dr. Tarantino may also recommend medications that treat gum inflammation as well as medicated oral rinses.
Surgical Treatment for Periodontal Disease
Significantly advanced periodontal disease may require surgical intervention to treat. Surgery may also be necessary when disease does not respond to deep cleaning or other non-surgical options. Under these circumstances, Dr. Tarantino may recommend consulting a periodontist. This gum and jaw bone specialist can perform periodontal surgeries that both eliminate disease and promote the rehabilitation of damaged connective tissue.
CALL US: (718) 494-0037 REQUEST APPOINTMENT