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Periodontal Therapy

Gentle & Effective Solutions for Gum Disease

The most common disease in the United States is not what you may think. Heart disease, strokes, or cancer come to mind, but actually, gum disease is the single most prevalent health problem in America. In fact, it affects more people than heart disease, strokes, Alzheimer's, and cancer combined! About 80% of the population has some form of gum disease in its mild or advanced stages. Thankfully, our dentists can lend a helping hand.

Why Choose East Islip Dental Care for Periodontal Therapy?

  • Periodontal screenings performed at every appointment
  • Deep cleanings remove infection at the source
  • Enjoy fast & painless care with laser gum therapy

What is Gum Disease?

Gum disease is an infection of the gums and bone that support teeth, and it usually starts early in life, then progresses as you age. It all starts when plaque hardens into tartar (also called calculus) below the gum line. This irritates vulnerable soft tissues and infection can set in. Combined with decaying food particles lodged between teeth and bacteria emitted by plaque, the infection can spread quickly. Symptoms are so mild in the early phase, many patients don't recognize them. They include red and swollen gums, excessive oral tenderness, and bleeding that occurs when brushing/flossing.

As the condition progresses, gums recede from teeth and pockets of bacteria form. The bacteria can destroy gum tissue and bone, causing tooth and tissue loss.

Why is Gum Disease So Serious?

Recent research reveals that gum disease is linked to an increased risk for major overall health problems, including but not limited to strokes, heart disease, respiratory problems, osteoporosis, diabetes complications, low birth weights, and most recently, dementia. Because of these findings, research continues. We may learn much more in the next few years!

It makes perfect sense, though. Everything that enters or is present in the mouth has access to the whole body. The mouth is like a portal to the rest of your bodily structures. That's why regular checkups and hygiene visits are vital to not only maintaining oral health, but overall wellbeing.

Is Gum Disease Curable?

Unfortunately, gum disease is not curable. However, we can detect early warning signs of gum disease at your regular dental checkups. At this stage, prevention might be as simple as changing your brushing technique, improving your flossing routine, or changing the products you use for oral care at home.

Once gum disease sets in, we can often treat it with non-surgical therapy, including:

  • Scaling – to remove hardened plaque from below the gum line
  • Root Planing – to reduce rough areas on teeth roots
  • Antibiotic Therapy – to battle infection
  • Laser Treatment – to remove bacteria and promote gum reattachment

Advanced cases may require the care of a periodontist, in which case we will refer you to a trusted colleague on Long Island.

After you’ve been treated for gum disease, expect to attend more frequent hygiene visits so that we can monitor your condition and make sure that your recovery is on track.

What is Laser Treatment for Gum Disease?

Combined with comprehensive periodontal therapy, a diode laser for soft tissue procedures can remove and reduce some periodontal infections! This type of treatment also promotes the safe, healthy reattachment of gum tissue to teeth. Laser dentistry is precise and conservative in comparison to traditional therapies. Some patients do not even need anesthesia during laser therapy.

Although there are several risk factors associated with gum disease such as genetics, diabetes and smoking, the primary cause is plaque, tartar and bacteria under the gumline. Over time, this buildup leads to inflamed, infected gums as well as deep pockets around the teeth. To effectively target the source of the problem, we recommend a type of “deep cleaning” called scaling and root planing. This non-surgical procedure is our first line of defense for managing gum disease and preventing the serious consequences that come with it.

Learn More About Scaling and Root Planing