An estimated 65 million Americans — or roughly half of those 30 and older — have the most advanced form of periodontal disease, periodontitis. Periodontal disease, also known as gum disease, is a progressive problem that occurs when bacteria build up on your teeth and cause infection, putting your oral health at risk.
At Bell Family Dental PC, located in Bayside, New York, our team of dental experts offers a variety of treatments to manage gum disease and protect your oral health. If you have chronic bad breath, here’s why you shouldn’t wait to schedule a dental appointment.
The dangers of periodontal disease
When you have healthy gums, the tissue fits firmly around your teeth. This design provides support for your teeth and jawbone. When periodontal disease develops, bacteria cause this tissue to become red and swollen because of inflammation. Without treatment, your gums begin pulling away from the teeth and start deteriorating, leading to bone and tooth loss.
Common signs of periodontal disease include:
- Swollen, puffy, or red gums
- Tender or bleeding gums
- Painful chewing
- Receding gums
It’s also common to experience chronic bad breath, or halitosis. If your bad breath doesn’t respond to simple changes, like improving your dental hygiene habits, you could be jeopardizing your oral health.
Knowing your risks of periodontal disease
Anyone who doesn’t practice good oral hygiene by brushing twice a day and flossing daily is at risk of developing gum disease. Other factors that increase your chances include:
- Family history of gum disease
- Smoking or chewing tobacco
- Using recreational drugs, like vaping or smoking marijuana
- Hormone changes, like pregnancy or menopause
- Poor nutrition
- Being overweight or obese
- Certain medications, especially if they cause dry mouth
- Diseases like diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, or those affecting immunity
Fortunately, it’s easy to prevent periodontal disease by following good oral health habits and having regular dental cleanings. Our team can also treat periodontal disease at all stages — from the first signs of gingivitis to advanced forms like periodontitis.
Treating periodontal disease
When we spot periodontal disease in the earliest stages, we can typically perform less invasive procedures to manage your condition. These treatments might include:
- Oral or topical antibiotics: to control bacterial infection
- Scaling: to remove bacteria and tartar buildup
- Root planing: to discourage further tartar and bacteria buildup
More advanced forms of periodontal disease typically require oral surgery. These therapies can range from pocket reduction surgery and soft tissue grafts to bone grafting and guided tissue regeneration. Whether you need minor dental treatment or more extensive procedures, we also offer sedation services to keep you comfortable during the entire process.