Gum Disease

Larchmont Family Dental

General Dentists & Cosmetic Dentists located in Westchester, Larchmont, NY

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, chronic periodontal disease affects about half of all adults over 30 in the United States — so you’re not alone if you’re suffering from gum disease. At Larchmont Family Dental, Avi Malkis and the staff offer safe and effective laser gum treatments as well as scaling and root planing for patients in the Westchester County of New York, including Larchmont, Mamaroneck, Harrison, and New Rochelle, New York. To learn more, call Larchmont Family Dental or schedule an appointment online.

Gum Disease

Larchmont Family Dental

What is gum disease?

Gum disease, which is also called periodontal disease, is when the tissues that surround and support your teeth become infected. Bacteria in the plaque that builds up on your teeth causes the infection.

Gum disease can range from minor gum inflammation to severe damage to the tissue and bone. There are two types of gum disease:

Gingivitis

The mildest form of gum disease, gingivitis causes red, swollen gums that may bleed easily. At this point, the disease is reversible and, with professional treatment and proper oral care, it usually goes away.

Periodontitis

If gingivitis is left untreated, it can advance to periodontitis, which is when the gums pull away from the teeth and form pockets. These pockets can easily get infected, which can lead to break down of the tissue and bone, and eventually, tooth loss.

What causes gum disease?

The bacteria in plaque causes gum disease. Additionally, you have a greater risk of developing gum disease if you:

  • Have poor oral hygiene
  • Smoke or chew tobacco
  • Diabetes
  • Have irregularly shaped teeth that are hard to keep clean
  • Are going through hormonal changes, including pregnancy and menopause
  • Have a family history of periodontal disease

How is gum disease treated?

Gum disease treatment varies depending on the stage of the disease. While gingivitis can often be treated with professional teeth cleaning, Dr. Malkis can treat later stages of gum disease with a variety of nonsurgical and surgical procedures. The nonsurgical procedures include:

Laser gum treatment

Also called laser periodontal therapy, this treatment involves using intense light to remove the inflamed gum tissue around the roots of the teeth. Lasers can target the diseased areas very precisely while leaving the healthy tissue intact.

Scaling and root planing

This treatment is a particular type of deep cleaning that involves two steps. The first step is removing plaque and tartar from the periodontal pockets. After this, Dr. Malkis smoothes down the roots, so that bacteria doesn’t gather and the gums can heal and reattach.

Do I need gum surgery?

The surgical options for gum disease treatment include flap surgery and gum graft surgery. These are more traditional surgeries with longer recovery time. Dr. Malkis offers complete gum evaluations, and he can determine whether traditional surgery or other gum treatments are best for you.

Gum disease is the leading cause of tooth loss, so it’s important to visit Dr. Malkis for an examination as soon as possible. To get started, call the office or book an appointment online.