Gentle Dentistry 173 Terrace Street, Haworth, NJ 07641 (201) 384-1611


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Posts for tag: gum disease

By Gentle Dentistry, P.A.
August 01, 2018
Category: Oral Health
Tags: gum disease   oral health  

It’s been a long road back to oral health for you after periodontal (gum) disease. But after several plaque removal sessions and perhaps even surgical procedures to address deep infection, your gums have regained their healthy pink appearance.

But now you must face a hard reality: because you’ve had gum disease you’ll need to be extra vigilant with your oral hygiene to avoid another round with this destructive disease. But don’t worry—you won’t have to fight your prevention battle alone. We’ll continue to provide you care that reduces your risk of re-infection. We call that care periodontal maintenance (PM).

The heart of PM care involves regular dental visits for monitoring, cleanings and treatment when necessary. While most patients may visit their dentist at least twice a year, as a previous gum disease patient we may advise more frequent visits, especially if you’ve just finished periodontal treatment. Depending on the extent of your disease, we may begin with a visit every other week or once every two to three months. If your mouth continues to be disease-free we may suggest increasing the time between visits.

During your visit we’ll carefully examine your mouth, as well as screen you for any signs of potential oral cancer. We’re looking for both signs of re-infection or new issues with your teeth and gums. We’ll also assess the effectiveness of your oral hygiene efforts and advise you on ways you can improve.

If we find any signs of disease, we’ll then formulate a treatment plan to effectively deal with it. With frequent visits we have a better chance of discovering re-infection early—and the earlier the better to minimize any further damage. We may also need to take steps to make future PM care easier. This could include gum surgery to alter the tissues around certain teeth for easier access for examination and cleaning.

Our main focus with PM care is to look ahead: what can we do now to prevent a future bout of gum disease or at least lessen its effect? With continued monitoring and care we can drastically reduce your risk for further damage from this destructive disease.

If you would like more information on post-gum disease maintenance, 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 “Periodontal Cleanings.”

By Gentle Dentistry, P.A.
July 22, 2018
Category: Oral Health

Are bleeding gums something you should be concerned about? Dear Doctor magazine recently posed that question to Dr. Travis Stork, an emergency room physician and host of the syndicated TV show The Doctors. He answered with two questions of his own: “If you started bleeding from your eyeball, would you seek medical attention?” Needless to say, most everyone would. “So,” he asked, “why is it that when we bleed all the time when we floss that we think it’s no big deal?” As it turns out, that’s an excellent question — and one that’s often misunderstood.

First of all, let’s clarify what we mean by “bleeding all the time.” As many as 90 percent of people occasionally experience bleeding gums when they clean their teeth — particularly if they don’t do it often, or are just starting a flossing routine. But if your gums bleed regularly when you brush or floss, it almost certainly means there’s a problem. Many think bleeding gums is a sign they are brushing too hard; this is possible, but unlikely. It’s much more probable that irritated and bleeding gums are a sign of periodontal (gum) disease.

How common is this malady? According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, nearly half of all  Americans over age 30 have mild, moderate or severe gum disease — and that number increases to 70.1 percent for those over 65! Periodontal disease can occur when a bacteria-rich biofilm in the mouth (also called plaque) is allowed to build up on tooth and gum surfaces. Plaque causes the gums to become inflamed, as the immune system responds to the bacteria. Eventually, this can cause gum tissue to pull away from the teeth, forming bacteria-filled “pockets” under the gum surface. If left untreated, it can lead to more serious infection, and even tooth loss.

What should you do if your gums bleed regularly when brushing or flossing? The first step is to come in for a thorough examination. In combination with a regular oral exam (and possibly x-rays or other diagnostic tests), a simple (and painless) instrument called a periodontal probe can be used to determine how far any periodontal disease may have progressed. Armed with this information, we can determine the most effective way to fight the battle against gum disease.

Above all, don’t wait too long to come in for an exam! As Dr. Stork notes, bleeding gums are “a sign that things aren’t quite right.”  If you would like more information about bleeding gums, please contact us or schedule an appointment. You can read more in the Dear Doctor magazine article “Bleeding Gums.” You can read the entire interview with Dr. Travis Stork in Dear Doctor magazine.

By Gentle Dentistry, P.A.
March 31, 2017
Category: Oral Health
Tags: gum disease  

Gum disease is an infection of the structures around the teeth and can be reversed with non-surgical treatments, such as PerioProtect. perioprotectGentle Dentistry in Haworth, NJ, offers the minimally invasive PerioProtect Method to their patients. Here's everything you need to know about PerioProtect.

What is PerioProtect?

Gum disease is caused by bacteria that collect in the pockets around your teeth. The PerioProtect Method is an effective approach to treat bacteria that cause periodontal disease. The PerioProtect Method includes a specially designed tray that is custom made for your mouth so that medication can be placed into the periodontal pockets where the infection is localized. The design of the tray prevents the medication from being washed away.

The Benefits of PerioProtect

The Perio Tray delivers medication below the gums to fight the bacteria that cause gum disease. When patients use the tray at home, they are able to reduce the bacteria, bleeding and inflammation. The Perio Tray also helps brighten your smile and freshen your breath. The PerioProtect Method is an easy, comfortable and very effective option when used as directed by your Haworth dentist.

The Risks of Gum Disease

Gum disease is a progressive disorder that if left untreated will worsen over time. As the infection aggressively attacks teeth and soft tissues, it will ultimately spread to bone. If left untreated, it can lead to further complications, such as gum abscesses, deterioration of bone structure, loose teeth and tooth loss. Gum disease may also increase your risk of all kinds of other health complications, including diabetes, stroke and heart disease.

Your gum disease doesn't have to diminish your quality of life. Put an end to your gum disease today and avoid losing your teeth without expensive and painful surgery. Call Gentle Dentistry at (201) 384-1611 right now to schedule a dental consultation in Haworth, NJ. We will help you cure your gum disease once and for all!

By Gentle Dentistry
February 04, 2015
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: gum disease  

Discover the minimally invasive dentistry treatment that effectively treats gum disease.

While gum disease is rather common, it doesn’t mean that it should go ignored. If left untreated this condition causes irritation, sensitivity and even tooth and bone loss. To prevent these serious dental issues from occurring it’s important to see your Bergen County, NJ dentist right away for treatment. One minimally invasive treatment known as Perio Protect Method® could help effectively combat your gum disease.

How Gum Disease Develops

Bacteria are to blame for the development of gum disease. While gum disease can be prevented with thorough brushing and Gum Diseaseflossing, if you don’t do this regularly or effectively you risk leaving plaque and food particles behind. If the plaque isn’t removed it can quickly turn to tartar, which your toothbrush won’t be able to get rid of. The bacteria responsible for gum disease then attach themselves to the tartar where they grow and thrive.

For those with serious forms of gum disease, the bacteria begin to form deep infected pockets within the gums. These pockets will continue to get larger, eventually separating the teeth from the gums and the bones. This leads to tooth loss. While laser treatment and even surgery can be options for treating serious forms of gum disease, there is an easier and less invasive way. For more on gum problems and disease visit our page.

About The Perio Protect Method®

The Perio Protect Method® uses a set of clear dental trays to deliver medication to the infected gums and pockets where the bacteria are growing. This easy-to-use system only requires you to place medication into the trays and to wear the trays all from the comfort of your own home. You don’t have to worry about sitting in the dentist chair for hours to receive treatment. Now you can effectively treat your gum disease at home.

However, you will still need to see your dentist for routine cleanings. These cleanings in conjunction with the Perio Protect Method will ensure that you get the healthiest smile. Some patients only have to wear the trays for a few minutes a day and as healing begins and your gum disease improves, we will change how often you need to receive treatment in order to manage your condition.

If you want to find out whether the Perio Protect Method® could help reduce your gum disease problems. Call your Bergen County, NJ dentist, Gentle Dentistry, today to find out more or to schedule a consultation.

By Gentle Dentistry, P.A.
December 26, 2014
Category: Dental Procedures

Since their development in the laboratory over five decades ago, lasers have found increasing use in our everyday lives. In the field of medicine, it’s not uncommon to find lasers in the offices of dermatologists, ophthalmologists and surgeons, to name just a few. Now, some dentists are finding that lasers can offer an alternative means of treating gum disease — and one that may have advantages in certain situations.

You probably know that a laser produces a special kind of light — in fact, its name is an acronym for “Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation.” Essentially, a medical laser uses electrical energy to produce an intense and narrow beam of concentrated light. This light can be directed to a particular area, often via a fiber-optic channel. The laser’s precision allows a doctor or technician to focus the light energy exactly where it’s needed — to remove diseased tissue, seal off blood vessels, and sterilize a wound, for example.

For several years, periodontists — dentists who specialize in treating diseases of the gums — have been researching the use of lasers for treating certain types of gum disease. In standard clinical practice, hand-held instruments and ultrasonic cleaning tools are used at regular time intervals (3 – 6 months) to remove the sticky bacterial biofilm, as well as calculus (tartar), that forms in between teeth and gums. If that still isn't effective, gum surgery may be required to access the affected area, remove diseased tissue, and reduce pocket depth (the space below the gum line that gets larger as bone loss occurs) to prevent reinfection.

Recently, however, several new procedures have been developed that use lasers to accomplish some or all of these goals. One type of therapy uses a special laser that emits pulses of light with a specific wavelength (color) of 1064 nanometers. This light passes through healthy cells like a sunbeam through a window — but when it encounters darkly-pigmented bacteria, it vaporizes them instantly!

One of the potential advantages of laser treatment is its precision: focused directly on the area where trouble occurs, it targets diseased tissue but leaves healthy tissue alone. Another is that laser treatment is less invasive: It requires less tissue removal, and may cause less discomfort and tissue shrinkage (gum recession) than conventional periodontal surgery. And because it produces small amounts of heat, it can seal blood vessels and help control bleeding.

While lasers have long shown promise for treating gum disease, until recently it wasn’t clear if they offered any advantages over traditional methods. Now, several studies have shown that certain laser treatments can be just as effective as traditional gum surgery in many cases — with the potential benefit of being less invasive. In the future, the use of lasers for periodontal procedures is likely to increase.

It’s important to remember that no single treatment — not even a laser — can “zap” gum disease in one fell swoop. Controlling periodontal disease requires effective at-home oral hygiene combined with regular professional care. If you have questions about periodontal disease, please call our office to schedule a consultation.