Gingivitis (gum inflammation) usually happens before periodontitis (gum disease), but not all gingivitis leads to periodontitis. Gingivitis can be reversed simply by brushing, flossing, and having regular cleaning appointments.
In a person with periodontitis, the inner layer of gum and bone pull away from the teeth and form pockets. The small spaces between teeth and gums collect debris and can become infected. The body's immune system fights the bacteria as plaque spreads and grows below the gum line.
Anyone is susceptible to gum disease. Your risk of gum disease can be increased if you have prior conditions such as diabetes, osteoporosis, or cancer treatment. Tobacco use, poor oral hygiene, and certain medications such as blood pressure or heart medicine can increase your risk of gum disease as well.
Our periodontist, Dr. Papathanasiou can recommend a variety of treatments for periodontitis depending on your unique situation. Non surgical treatments are possible if periodontitis is not advanced. Deep scaling removes tartar and bacteria from your tooth surface and beneath your gums. Root planing smooths the root surfaces, discouraging further build up of tartar and bacteria.
Untreated periodontitis is more severe and can lead to bone and tooth loss. Surgical treatments are suggested with more advanced periodontitis. Pocket reduction surgery, soft tissue grafts, and bone grafting are some of the surgical treatments that we offer at our office. It is important to have strong bone to place an implant.
Dr. Papathanasiou is at our office on Wednesdays, please call us at 617-738- 0700 to schedule an appointment with him today.