Gum disease affects an estimated 3 out of every 4 Americans and is the number one cause of tooth loss in adults. Gum disease is a serious condition that can contribute to more than just dental concerns including other health concerns such as heart disease and diabetes.
Periodontics is a specialty of dentistry that centers mostly on the treatment and prevention of gum disease as well as the placement of dental implants. Dr. Raj Upadya of Metropolitan Center for Complete Dentistry in East Hanover, NJ, offers periodontal therapy to prevent and treat the signs and symptoms of gum disease.
Although other factors play a role, poor oral hygiene is a primary cause of gum disease. The best way to prevent it is through routine dental care and maintenance that includes daily brushing and flossing as well as regular visits to the dentist for professional dental cleanings and examinations. It is common practice for our dentists to screen for signs of this disease at every visit.
About Gum Disease in East Hanover, NJ
There is no single cause or factor for gum disease. Common causes of gum disease include:
- Poor oral hygiene
- Smoking or tobacco use
- Genetic predisposition
- Hormonal changes, such as pregnancy or menopause
- Certain medications
- Teeth grinding
- Poor nutrition
Known as a “silent disease”, many patients with gum disease don’t experience pain or obvious symptoms until the advanced stages of the condition.
Gum Disease Symptoms
Typically, patients do not realize they have gum disease until the later stages, when damage to the gums affects the teeth or gums become significantly irritated. It is important to recognize the symptoms of gum disease so you can begin treatment as soon as possible. The sooner you begin treatment, the easier it is to treat the infection without permanent damage.
Patients with gum disease most commonly experience:
- Red, swollen, or sore gums
- Bleeding gums when brushing or flossing
- Receding gums
- Loose teeth
- Mouth sores or pus between gums and teeth
- Bad breath (halitosis)
- Changes in the fit of dentures
Stages of Gum Disease
There are four main stages of gum disease. As the disease progresses, it becomes increasingly difficult to treat, so beginning treatment as soon as possible is best. Continue reading to learn more about each individual stage of gum disease and how each stage is treated.
- Gingivitis- The first stage of gum disease is known as gingivitis. Its onset symptoms are bleeding gums, gum redness, and inflammation. This is caused by a build-up of plaque at the gum line. Gingivitis can be reversed by an increase in patients’ oral care routine. Brushing and flossing at least twice daily is crucial to preventing and treating the early stages of gum disease.
- Mild Periodontitis- If gingivitis is left untreated it will progress into mild periodontitis. Mild periodontitis occurs once gums begin to recede and form pockets. These pockets house bacteria allowing them to cause further infection. Mild periodontitis is most commonly treated by scaling and root planing. This involves deep cleaning and plaque removal.
- Moderate Periodontitis- The third stage of gum disease is known as moderate periodontitis. Once the disease has reached this stage gums and jaw bone begin to deteriorate. Deep cleaning is a common treatment method for this stage of gum disease, however, gum grafting may be used to support gum growth and rejuvenation.
- Advanced Periodontitis- The final and most severe stage of gum disease is known as advanced periodontitis. At this stage, patients are at risk for tooth loss and many other oral and overall health issues. Treatment options include flap surgery, gum grafting, and bone grafting.
Gum Disease Treatment
There are many options for gum disease treatment depending on your specific condition. Dr. Upadya uses both conservative therapies and advanced dental technology to address many periodontal concerns:
- Scaling and root planing
- Laser dentistry
If you have loose or missing teeth as a result of gum disease, there are a number of options for replacement. Dr. Upadya will recommend the most conservative treatment with the best esthetic and long-term results. Treatment for missing teeth may include: dental implants, dental bridges, and dentures.
Treatment for Receding Gums
Dr. Upadya is excited to offer patients with receding gums a new, minimally invasive procedure called Pinhole Gum Rejuvenation. California dentist Dr. John Chao invented this microsurgical procedure. Dr. Upadya was a member of Dr. Chao’s inaugural class of dentists to undergo training and certification in the procedure.
Only 150 dentists worldwide have this certification, making Dr. Upadya one of the few dentists on the East Coast experienced in this gum recession treatment.
Gum Disease FAQs
Do you have further questions about gum disease and how it is treated in our office? Continue reading to learn more and to find answers to frequently asked questions.
What is the best treatment for gum disease?
The first treatment for gum disease is to scale the patient’s teeth and polish them. This removes built-up plaque on and around teeth. The second treatment for more serious problems is root planning. Cleaning and removing built-up plaque is the first and best step to preventing and treating gum disease.
Can gum disease be cured?
Gum disease is reversible in its earliest gingivitis stage. If you catch gum disease in its first stage, you can undergo treatment to reverse it, where it leaves no permanent damage. However, it gets harder to reverse gum disease as it progresses. Dentists focus on preventing further damage through treatment.
What are the stages of gum disease?
There are four stages of gum disease. It begins with gingivitis, which is reversible. The second stage is slight periodontal disease. The last two stages are moderate periodontal disease and advanced periodontal disease. The last two stages are the most serious stages of the disease.
How long does it take to reverse gum disease?
Gingivitis typically goes away within 10 to 14 days in most patients. Treatment time may be prolonged if your gingivitis has progressed to further stages or is severe. Maintaining oral health is the best way to prevent gingivitis from reoccurring.
How do I know if my gum disease is serious?
Examining your gums is the best way to know if your gum disease is serious and progressing. Infected gums may appear red and swollen. They may also bleed upon contact, even while brushing or flossing. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, call our office today to schedule an appointment. We can professionally examine your gums for periodontitis and discuss treatment options.
Is gum disease common?
Periodontal disease affects 47.2% of patients over the age of 30. It is more likely to affect you as you age. For example, it is found in up to 71% of adults above 65.
Schedule a Dental Exam & Consultation
If you are searching for a dentist in the Summit, NJ, and East Hanover, NJ, area that treats gum disease, contact the Metropolitan Center for Complete Dentistry today. Call us at 973-241-5169 or schedule an appointment online to learn the best dental treatments for you.