Periodontists are trained for three additional years after dental school to become specialized in the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of infections and diseases in the soft tissue around the teeth and jawbone. They are skilled in a range of advanced techniques used to treat periodontal disease, including placing implants in severe cases. Cosmetic procedures are also a specialty of periodontists, which they use to strengthen and beautify the smile.

Periodontal disease is a serious condition that must be treated quickly before it is allowed to progress. It is caused by the toxins found in plaque attacking the soft or gingival tissue around the teeth. Bacteria then burrow into the gums and breed rapidly, causing infection.

As the infection grows, more tissue is destroyed leading to irritation or inflammation between the gums and teeth. The body tries to fight off the infection, and as a result, the gums recede and the pockets between the teeth deepen, leading to unstable teeth and tooth loss. It can also lead to an eroded jawbone.

Referrals from Brooklyn Dentists and Self Referral

If your dentist finds signs of periodontal disease during your regular dental check-up, they may recommend you get a periodontal consultation. However, you don’t need a referral from a dentist to see a periodontist.

If you are exhibiting signs of periodontal disease, it’s important to seek help from a professional as quickly as possible. Periodontal disease can progress rapidly, going from bad to worse in a matter of weeks.

Seek help if you experience any of the following symptoms:

  • Bleeding while eating or brushing - This is one of the most common signs of periodontal infection.
  • Bad breath - Persistent bad breath, or halitosis, despite a proper oral hygiene routine, can be indicative of infection in the gum tissue, periodontitis, or gingivitis.
  • Gum recession and loose teeth - Periodontal disease causes the gums to recede, making the teeth look longer. Teeth will also become weaker and may fall out as the disease progresses.
  • Related health conditions - Bacteria in periodontal infections can spread throughout the body in the bloodstream, leading to additional health issues. Periodontitis and periodontal infection are related to diabetes, osteoporosis, and heart disease.
  • Gangrene in the tissues - Gangrene is difficult to discover on your own. Your dentist or periodontist will check for gangrene in the soft tissue, alveolar bone, and periodontal ligament during a routine examination.

Diagnosing and treating periodontal disease

After receiving a complete examination of the jawbone, gums, and teeth, the periodontist will determine what stage your periodontal disease is at and what the best, most expedient treatment options for you are. There are many non-surgical and surgical options available for restructuring damaged teeth, replacing missing teeth, halting the recession of soft tissue, and treating underlying infections.

  • Gingivitis/mild periodontal disease - Gingivitis is present when the gum pockets become deeper than 4mm. The periodontist in Brooklyn, NY, may use root planning or scaling techniques to remove debris from the pockets and allow them to heal. Tips for oral hygiene maintenance will be provided afterward.
  • Moderate periodontal disease - A more extensive root planning and scaling procedure may be required when the gum pockets become 4-6mm deep. The periodontist will use local anesthetic.
  • Advanced periodontal disease - Gum pockets 6-7mm deep or deeper, accompanied by bone loss and gum recession, must be treated with both non-surgical and surgical treatments. Root planning and scaling will still be performed, and the periodontist will recommend pocket reduction surgery.
  • Tooth loss - If the periodontal disease has progressed to the point of tooth loss, the periodontist will provide dental implants. If the jawbone is strong enough to anchor implants, the prosthetic tooth will be placed. If the jawbone is eroded, the periodontist may perform a bone graft.

To express your questions or concerns about periodontal disease, treatment, or dental implants, or to set up a consultation with our Brooklyn Dentist, please contact our office.