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

Posts for tag: periodontal disease

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
April 21, 2018
Category: Oral Health

That bit of gum bleeding after you brush, along with redness and swelling, are strong signs you have gingivitis, a form of periodontal (gum) disease. Without treatment, though, your gingivitis could turn into something much more painful and unsightly — a condition commonly known as “trench mouth.”

Properly known as Acute Necrotizing Ulcerative Gingivitis (ANUG), the more colorful name arose from its frequent occurrence among soldiers during World War I. Although not contagious, many soldiers contracted it due to a lack of means to properly clean their teeth and gums and the anxiety associated with war. Inadequate hygiene and high stress still contribute to its occurrence today, along with smoking, medications that dry the mouth and reduced disease resistance — all of which create a perfect environment for bacterial growth.

ANUG can arise suddenly and be very painful. The cells in the gum tissue begin to die (“necrotizing”) and become swollen (“ulcerative”), especially the small triangle of gum tissue between the teeth called the papillae, which can appear yellowish. Patients also encounter a characteristic foul breath and taste. Untreated, ANUG can damage tissue and contribute to future tooth loss.

Fortunately, antibiotics and other treatments are quite effective in eradicating bacteria that cause the disease, so if caught early it’s completely reversible. We start with a complete examination to confirm the diagnosis and rule out other possible causes. We then attempt to relieve the pain and inflammation with non-steroidal, anti-inflammatory drugs like aspirin or ibuprofen and begin antibiotic treatment, most notably Metronidazole or amoxicillin. We may also prescribe a mouthrinse containing chlorhexidine and mild salt water rinses to further reduce the symptoms.

We must also treat any underlying gingivitis that gave rise to the more acute disease. Our goal here is remove any bacterial plaque and calculus (hardened plaque deposits) that have built up on tooth surfaces, particularly below the gums. Only then can we fully bring the disease under control.

It’s also important you become more consistent and effective with daily brushing and flossing, quit smoking, reduce undue stress, and get better rest and nutrition. Establishing these new habits and lifestyle changes will help ensure you’ll never have to experience trench mouth again.

If you would like more information on ANUG and other periodontal gum conditions, 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 “Painful Gums in Teens & Adults.”

By Lawrenceville Dental Implant Center And Periodontics, LLC
December 04, 2017
Category: Oral Health

Although your smile wouldn't be the same without them, there's more to your gums than their looks. Besides helping to hold your teeth in place, they're also an important protective barrier for their roots.

Unfortunately, gums aren't immune to disease, especially periodontal (gum) disease. This bacterial infection, triggered by built-up dental plaque on teeth due to insufficient oral hygiene, can cause the gum tissues to detach from teeth and shrink back (recede). This can make your teeth more sensitive to hot or cold foods and beverages, as well as put them at even greater risk for tooth decay.

To treat gum recession, our first priority is to stop any ongoing gum disease through aggressive plaque removal. Depending on severity, this could require clinical procedures like scaling or root planing to remove plaque and tartar (hardened plaque deposits) at or below the gum line. This is especially crucial for improving gum tissue healing and stimulating potential reattachment.

Revitalizing gum tissues this way naturally has a better chance of occurring if we're able to prevent recession before it reaches the roots. If that does happen and we have sufficient gum tissue attachment remaining, we may need to give the gum tissue a helping hand through gum grafting surgery. There are a number of techniques depending on the circumstances, but they all use either tissue from another location in the patient's mouth or prepared tissue from another human donor. This type of surgery requires great skill and expertise, not to mention an aesthetic sense, to achieve a result that's both functional and attractive.

Other than daily brushing and flossing, the most important thing you can do for gum health is to see us as soon as you notice any signs of gum problems like swelling, bleeding or tooth sensitivity. The sooner we can diagnose and begin treating the problem, the less likely any gum recession will have a long-term impact on your health.

If you would like more information on gum health, 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 “Gum Recession.”

By Lawrenceville Dental Implant Center And Periodontics, LLC
November 11, 2017
Category: Oral Health

If you have periodontal (gum) disease, it's important for you to know its effects aren't limited to your mouth. A number of studies demonstrate gum disease can affect the rest of your body — and what may be going on elsewhere could likewise stimulate gum disease.

Here are 3 diseases or conditions that seem to share a link with gum disease.

Diabetes. This chronic disease results from the body's inability to interact properly with insulin, the hormone necessary for turning glucose (sugar) into energy, or producing enough of it. There's clear evidence that having diabetes increases your risk of gum disease and vice-versa. If you have diabetes, it's important that you keep it under control for your gum's sake as much as for your overall health.

Cardiovascular disease. Like diabetes, this group of heart and blood vessel diseases has a related characteristic with gum disease: inflammation. This natural function of the immune system limits tissue damage caused by disease or injury. But in both CVD and gum disease, inflammation can become chronic and itself cause damage. Further, some types of bacteria associated with gum disease can contribute to a higher risk of CVD. Minimizing gum disease occurrence with good oral hygiene could positively impact your risk of CVD.

Pregnancy. While certainly not a disease, pregnancy does trigger hormonal changes in the mother that in turn could elevate her risk of gum disease, particularly pregnancy gingivitis. Not only does this pose problems for the mother's teeth and gums, some studies connect gum disease to the increased possibility of early, pre-term birth. A sharper focus on dental care during pregnancy not only benefits the mother but may also be important for the health of the baby.

These aren't the only conditions that can be affected by gum disease: others like osteoporosis, respiratory disease or rheumatoid arthritis also share links with the disease. If you have any systemic condition like these, it pays to be extra vigilant in preventing and treating gum disease.

If you would like more information on 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 “Good Oral Health Leads to Better Health Overall.”

By Lawrenceville Dental Implant Center And Periodontics, LLC
August 23, 2017
Category: Oral Health

Are your gums healthy? Periodontal, or gum, disease affects nearly half of American adults, according to the Centers for Disease Control gum diseaseand Prevention, yet many people aren't even aware they have the disease. Our Lawrenceville, NJ, periodontists, Dr. John Lu and Dr. Raul Figueroa of Lawrenceville Dental Implant Center and Periodontics, can discuss symptoms of the disease with you and explain treatment options.

How can I tell if I have periodontal disease?

Peridontal disease causes a variety of symptoms that shouldn't be ignored, including:

  • Bleeding Gums: Healthy gums don't bleed when you floss or brush your teeth. Bleeding gums are a sign that you may have gingivitis, the mildest form of gum disease. If you taste blood in your mouth when you brush or notice that your toothbrush is pink or red after brushing, call our Lawrenceville office to schedule an appointment.
  • Gum Swelling: Periodontal disease develops when tartar on teeth irritates your gums, causing redness and swelling. A good oral hygiene routine can eliminate plaque before it can turn into hard tartar.
  • Bad Breath: Bad breath may become a constant occurrence if you have gum disease, despite frequent brushing and flossing.
  • Receding Gums: Receding gums make your teeth look longer and expose the roots. Without a protective covering of gum tissue over your teeth, you may experience pain when you eat or drink hot or cold foods and beverages.
  • Pockets: As the disease worsens, the gums will pull away from the teeth, creating deep spaces called pockets. Bacterial infections in the pockets can destroy gum tissue, ligaments and bones that hold your teeth firmly in place.
  • Loose Teeth or Dentures: Loose teeth can occur during the most severe phase of periodontal disease. The disease may also change the fit of your dentures.

How is periodontal disease treated?

Gingivitis symptoms can often be reversed with planing and scaling. During this deep cleaning procedure, plaque, tartar and bacteria are removed above and below the gum line. If the disease is severe, you may need surgery to reduce the depth of your pockets and gum grafts to replace damaged tissue.

Prompt treatment from a periodontist, a dentist who specializes in gum disease, can help you avoid tooth loss due to gum disease. If you have any of the symptoms of periodontal disease, call our Lawrenceville, NJ, periodontists, Dr. Lu and Dr. Figueroa of Lawrenceville Dental Implant Center and Periodontics, at (609) 896-0700 to schedule an appointment.

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

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