Periodontal, or gum, disease is a leading cause of tooth loss. In some cases, it may have an association with chronic diseases such as diabetes and heart disease. Periodontal disease can affect one tooth or spread to others, but there are many treatment options to address the problem.
The periodontists of Rutgers Health University Dental Associates are leaders in their field. Our practitioners are faculty members of the Rutgers School of Dental Medicine, a part of Rutgers University, one of the top research universities in the nation. Each is active in research and teaching and brings the most current knowledge and techniques from the classroom to the exam room.
Factors That May Contribute to Periodontal Diseases
- Genetic predisposition
- HIV infection
- Hormonal fluctuations
- Inadequate nutrition
- Substance abuse
- Systemic diseases and conditions
- Use of certain medications
Gingivitis: The Most Common Periodontal Disease
Gingivitis is the most common and mildest form of periodontal disease. The condition includes red, swollen gums that bleed easily with little or no discomfort. Gingivitis is frequently the result of poor oral hygiene, but it is reversible with treatment and proper oral home care.
Untreated gingivitis can advance to become periodontitis, a more severe condition that can lead to tooth loss and other health problems. Advanced periodontitis may include gums separating from teeth and the formation of pockets that deepen and cause destruction in more gums, tissue, and bone.
Treating Periodontal Diseases
The goal of our periodontists is to restore your periodontal health in the least invasive manner. Our specialists initiate scaling and root planing, which involves removal of dental plaque and tartar and then smoothing exposed root surfaces. A periodontist will also remove cementum (a calcified substance covering the root of a tooth) or dentin (calcified tissue), which may contain toxins, microorganisms, and bacteria that cause inflammation near the roots of teeth. An application of antimicrobial drugs to dental surfaces or a prescription for oral antibiotics may follow such work.
Periodontal Plastic Surgery
Periodontists may be “the plastic surgeons of dentistry.” If you feel your teeth look too short or your gums cover too much of your teeth, dental crown lengthening might be a solution. Our expert periodontists perform this procedure, in which the removal of extra gum tissue exposes more of the tooth’s crown.
Conversely, if you feel your teeth look too long because of receding gums, gum graft surgery and other root coverage procedures can cover exposed roots to reduce further gum recession and prevent decay.
Tooth loss can also cause indentations in the gums and jawbone; to treat this condition, our periodontists can construct bone grafts and gum grafts that fill the indentations and recapture the natural contour of gums and jaws. Once complete, your periodontist may advise undergoing further restorations to restore a beautiful and healthy smile.
Dental implants are often the best choice to replace missing teeth. The implant is a titanium cylinder set in the jawbone to function like a real tooth and can last a lifetime with proper maintenance. Our expert providers will ensure that your implant looks and feels as natural as a real tooth. Even if you have problems with your jawbone due to missing teeth, a bone graft can rectify the problem and make it safe to have a dental implant. We will discuss every option for implants with you, thoroughly explaining all the benefits and risks.
If you are experiencing problems due to periodontal disease, it is best to have an examination promptly to avoid further damage to your teeth and mouth. Be sure to schedule an appointment with a Rutgers Health University Dental Associates periodontist today.