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Woman complaining on toothache at the dentist. Symptoms of gums pain and Periodontal Disease

Understanding Periodontal Disease: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment

June 10, 2024

At Scarsdale Dental Center, we’re dedicated to helping our patients achieve and maintain optimal oral health. Periodontal disease, commonly known as gum disease, is a significant concern that affects many individuals. 

Below, the Scarsdale Dental Center team explores the causes, symptoms, and treatment options for periodontal disease to help you better understand and manage this condition.

What is Periodontal Disease?

Periodontal disease is an infection of the tissues that hold teeth in place. It is typically caused by poor oral hygiene, which allows plaque—a sticky film of bacteria—to build up on the teeth and harden. In its advanced stages, periodontal disease can lead to sores, bleeding gums, painful chewing problems, and even tooth loss.

Causes of Periodontal Disease

The primary cause of periodontal disease is plaque buildup. However, several other factors can contribute to the development and progression of this condition:

  • Poor Oral Hygiene: Inadequate brushing and flossing habits allow plaque to accumulate on the teeth.
  • Smoking and Tobacco Use: These can impair the gum tissue’s ability to repair itself.
  • Genetics: Some individuals may be more predisposed to gum disease due to their genetic makeup.
  • Hormonal Changes: Changes in hormones, such as during pregnancy, puberty, and menopause, can make gums more sensitive and susceptible to disease.
  • Chronic Illnesses: Conditions like diabetes can affect the gums’ health and exacerbate periodontal disease.
  • Medications: Certain medications can reduce saliva flow, which protects the gums and teeth.

Symptoms of Periodontal Disease

Recognizing the symptoms of periodontal disease early can lead to more effective treatment. Common symptoms include:

  • Red, swollen, or tender gums
  • Bleeding while brushing or flossing
  • Persistent bad breath or a bad taste in the mouth
  • Receding gums
  • Loose or shifting teeth
  • Formation of deep pockets between teeth and gums

Treatment Options for Periodontal Disease

Treatment for periodontal disease depends on the stage and severity of the condition. At Scarsdale Dental Center, we offer a range of treatments tailored to meet the needs of each patient:

  • Professional Cleaning: For gingivitis, a professional dental cleaning can remove plaque and tartar buildup.
  • Scaling and Root Planing: A deep-cleaning, non-surgical procedure that involves scraping away plaque and tartar from above and below the gum line and smoothing rough spots on the tooth root.
  • Medications: Antibiotics or other medications may be prescribed to control infection and pain.
  • Surgical Treatments: In severe cases, procedures like flap surgery, soft tissue grafts, or bone grafts may be necessary to restore supportive tissues.

Periodontal disease is a serious condition that can significantly affect oral and overall health. Understanding the causes, recognizing the symptoms, and seeking prompt treatment can help manage and even prevent the progression of this disease.

Looking for a dentist in Scarsdale, NY? Turn to the experts at Scarsdale Dental Center!

At Scarsdale Dental Center in Scarsdale, NY, our experienced dental team is here to provide you with the care and support you need to maintain a healthy smile. 

If you suspect you may have periodontal disease or want to learn more about how to protect your gums, contact us today to schedule an appointment. Your journey to optimal oral health starts at Scarsdale Dental Center!