133 Franklin Corner Road Lawrenceville, NJ 08648
(609) 896-0700

Posts for: October, 2018

By Lawrenceville Dental Implant Center And Periodontics, LLC
October 29, 2018
Category: Oral Health

Periodontal DiseaseWhat's the biggest cause of tooth loss? You may think it's decay or oral trauma, however, research from the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research shows that gum disease actually damages more teeth than any other dental health issue. At Lawrenceville Dental Implant Center and Periodontics, Dr. John Lu and Dr. Raul Figueroa use the latest techniques to manage periodontal disease. Education is key, so read here about the signs of gum disease and how to combat them.

Signs of gum disease

During a routine dental examination, your dentist checks many aspects of your oral health, including how well your gums are doing. Gum health not only supports what's happening inside your mouth but affects your overall systemic well-being, as well. The American Academy of Periodontology says that gum disease—from mild gingivitis to advanced periodontitis—causes inflammation throughout the body, contributing to issues such as:

  • Diabetes
  • Heart disease
  • Stroke
  • Dementia
  • Arthritis
  • Osteoporosis

All of these conditions and more develop or worsen as bacteria-laden plaque and hard tartar build-up between teeth and underneath the gums.

You, your dentist, and your hygienist in Lawrenceville should be aware of the following signs of periodontal disease:

  • Reddened, puffy gums
  • Pus at the gum line
  • Persistent bad breath which does not respond to routine brushing, flossing, or mouth rinses
  • Loose teeth
  • Gaps between teeth
  • Pimples on the gums
  • Gum and bone recession
  • Deep periodontal pockets (greater than 3 mm as measured by your dentist or hygienist)
  • Dental sensitivity
  • Change in bite or in how a partial denture or other appliances fit

Treating gum disease


In its mildest stages, gum disease responds well to in-office hygienic cleanings and improved brushing and flossing at home. A diet rich in fruits and vegetables helps, too, as does smoking cessation.

If, gum disease advances, however, Dr. Lu and Dr. Figueroa may recommend interventions such as the deep cleaning of tooth surfaces and root planing below the gum line to remove deposits of plaque and tartar. The installation of antibiotics also quells infection so that gums can heal and reattach to tooth surfaces.

For advanced periodontal disease, your periodontist uses gum and bone grafting, flap surgery, and other advanced surgical techniques to stabilize teeth, restore bone and gum tissue, and to promote long-term periodontal health. Performed right at Lawrenceville Dental Implant Center & Periodontics, these state-of-the-art procedures correct a wide variety of harmful gum issues.

Healthy gums and a healthy you

They go together. For the best in gum care and dental implant placement, please contact Dr. Lu and Dr. Figueroa at Lawrenceville Dental Implant Center & Periodontics. Call the office today for more information or to arrange a consultation: (609) 896-0700


By Lawrenceville Dental Implant Center And Periodontics, LLC
October 28, 2018
Category: Oral Health
Tags: gum disease   oral hygiene  
AdvancingGumDiseaseRequiresThoroughTreatmenttoControlit

If you ever get out of the habit of daily brushing and flossing, you’re setting yourself up for dental disease. Neglecting oral hygiene allows bacterial plaque to build up on tooth surfaces, which can give rise to aggressive gum infections known collectively as periodontal (gum) disease.

Gum disease may first manifest itself as gingivitis, an inflammation of the outer gum tissues around teeth. Resuming hygiene habits could help reduce the infection if it’s detected early enough. If the infection has spread deeper below the gum line, though, brushing and flossing won’t be able to reach and remove the offending plaque — you’ll need our help with that.

The objective of any such treatment is the same as your daily brushing and flossing — remove plaque as well as hardened deposits (calculus) that cause disease. The most basic technique is called scaling in which we use specialized hand instruments (scalers) or ultrasonic equipment to loosen and remove the plaque and calculus from all tooth and gum surfaces.

For deeper plaque, we may need to use a technique called root planing. As its name implies, we use equipment similar to scalers to shave or “plane” plaque, calculus, bacteria or other toxins from the roots that have become ingrained in their surfaces.

These procedures are often carried out with local anesthesia to ensure patient comfort and allow us to be as meticulous as possible with plaque and calculus removal. It’s imperative that we remove as much plaque and calculus as possible, and which often involves more than one session. This is because as the gum tissues become less inflamed it allows us to access more plaque-infested areas during subsequent sessions.

Hopefully, these techniques will arrest the infection and restore good health to gum tissues. It’s then important for you to recommit and follow through on a renewed daily hygiene regimen to reduce the chances of re-infection that could lead to more serious problems and potential tooth loss.

If you would like more information on treating periodontal (gum) disease, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Root Planing.”


By Lawrenceville Dental Implant Center And Periodontics, LLC
October 18, 2018
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: oral hygiene  
UltrasonicPlaqueRemovalanEffectiveAlternativetoManualScaling

Undergoing regular dental cleanings is an essential part of periodontal (gum) disease prevention. While a daily habit of brushing and flossing cleans bacterial plaque from most tooth surfaces, it’s difficult to remove from places your brush or floss can’t access well. That, as well as hardened plaque deposits known as calculus, must be removed by a hygienist or dentist with a technique known as scaling.

Scaling is traditionally performed manually using specialized hand instruments known as scalers. Although hand scalers are quite effective, they must be used carefully to avoid damage to gum tissue or, during deeper cleaning known as root planing, the tooth roots. A different method for plaque removal known as ultrasonic scaling has grown in popularity as an alternative to manual scaling.

Ultrasonic scaling uses equipment emitting vibrational energy that crushes and loosens plaque and calculus, and disrupts growing bacterial colonies in biofilm. Plaque particles are then washed away using water irrigation. The most recent models of ultrasonic scalers have matched the effectiveness of hand scaling in removing plaque and calculus in shallow gum pockets, and surpassed the manual technique in cleaning out pockets greater than 4 mm. In experienced hands, they’re kinder to tooth structure and other tissues. Water irrigation also improves healing by removing bacteria and scaling by-products, which also makes the area easier to view by the hygienist.

On the other hand, any type of power scaler must be used with caution with patients who have pacemakers, and are not recommended for those with hypersensitive teeth or teeth that are in the early stages of de-mineralization. The technique may also produce an aerosol of finely misted particles (with possible contamination) that requires added measures to contain them.

For most patients, though, ultrasonic scalers are an effective tool for plaque and calculus removal. As ultrasonic devices continue to evolve, patients will ultimately benefit from greater comfort and reduced treatment times.

If you would like more information on plaque removal with ultrasonic scalers, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Dental Cleanings Using Ultrasonic Scalers.”


By Lawrenceville Dental Implant Center And Periodontics, LLC
October 08, 2018
Category: Oral Health
ActorDavidRamseyDiscussesBabyBottleToothDecay

Cavities can happen even before a baby has his first piece of candy. This was the difficult lesson actor David Ramsey of the TV shows Arrow and Dexter learned when his son DJ’s teeth were first emerging.

“His first teeth came in weak,” Ramsey recalled in a recent interview. “They had brown spots on them and they were brittle.” Those brown spots, he said, quickly turned into cavities. How did this happen?

Ramsey said DJ’s dentist suspected it had to do with the child’s feedings — not what he was being fed but how. DJ was often nursed to sleep, “so there were pools of breast milk that he could go to sleep with in his mouth,” Ramsey explained.

While breastfeeding offers an infant many health benefits, problems can occur when the natural sugars in breast milk are left in contact with teeth for long periods.  Sugar feeds decay-causing oral bacteria, and these bacteria in turn release tooth-eroding acids. The softer teeth of a young child are particularly vulnerable to these acids; the end result can be tooth decay.

This condition, technically known as “early child caries,” is referred to in laymen’s terms as “baby bottle tooth decay.” However, it can result from nighttime feedings by bottle or breast. The best way to prevent this problem is to avoid nursing babies to sleep at night once they reach the teething stage; a bottle-fed baby should not be allowed to fall asleep with anything but water in their bottle or “sippy cup.”

Here are some other basics of infant dental care that every parent should know:

  • Wipe your baby’s newly emerging teeth with a clean, moist washcloth after feedings.
  • Brush teeth that have completely grown in with a soft-bristled, child-size toothbrush and a smear of fluoride toothpaste no bigger than a grain of rice.
  • Start regular dental checkups by the first birthday.

Fortunately, Ramsey reports that his son is doing very well after an extended period of professional dental treatments and parental vigilance.

“It took a number of months, but his teeth are much, much better,” he said. “Right now we’re still helping him and we’re still really on top of the teeth situation.”

If you would like more information on dental care for babies and toddlers, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more by reading the Dear Doctor magazine articles “The Age One Dental Visit” and “Dentistry & Oral Health for Children.”




Lawrenceville, NJ Periodontist
Lawrenceville Dental Implant Center And Periodontics, LLC
133 Franklin Corner Road
Lawrenceville, NJ 08648
(609) 896-0700
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