Periodontal Disease: Often Silent and Progressive But Treatable
Periodontal or gum disease is often silent but it is progressive and can lead to tooth loss. With proper diagnosis, periodontal disease is treatable.
There are many types of periodontal or gum diseases today. The good news is that people are living longer and they want to keep their teeth longer. In spite of this longevity trend and greater health awareness, we are seeing more periodontal disease at younger ages.
Periodontal disease for most patients is a silent disease because they do not feel it and they do not see it. I compare periodontal disease to hypertension or high blood pressure, because in both cases people walk around with the condition and they are not aware of it. If they do not go to the dentist or see their hygienist regularly, periodontal disease often remains undetected. In my periodontal office, this is what we do day in and day out: diagnose periodontal disease. In a matter of minutes we can determine the level of disease and then recommend a course of treatment.
There are different stages of periodontal disease. The first stage of periodontal disease is called gingivitis, which is inflammation of the gums. Sometimes there is bleeding and the gums are getting weaker. Gingivitis is caused by bacteria in the form of plaque on the teeth.
Gingivitis can be treated very easily, and the earlier we catch this type of inflammation the better the success. As the disease progresses or if it is left untreated, it can develop into what we call periodontitis, which is not only inflammation but also bone loss around the teeth. Periodontitis can be arrested and sometimes reversed with proper treatment.
I have been treating periodontal disease for over 28 years. The patients who do well are those who follow through with treatment, return for regular professional visits, and have consistently good homecare habits that we teach them. The treatment itself causes minimal discomfort and there are many different ways to treat this disease. We utilize the latest in nonsurgical treatment, surgical treatment, and dental laser treatment.
We welcome new patients and encourage people to come in for a periodontal evaluation.
Dr. Alan H. Farber
Offices in Hauppauge and Medford, NY
New Patients Welcome