Periodontal Disease is a Chronic, Gradual Disease

We see patients all the time who seem very surprised to have been told they have gum (periodontal) disease. The reality is that, according to sources such as the Cleveland Clinic, more than 47% of adults in this country have periodontitis, a severe form of gum disease. The Cleveland Clinic says that the number increases to an astounding 70% when you’re considering adults age 65 and over.

Treating Gum Disease

Dr. Fava reminds us that there really is no cure for periodontal disease, but that continued, regular maintenance at home and with your periodontal team can keep the disease from progressing further.

In addition to special non-surgical periodontal hygiene visits for deep cleaning, we can also treat more advanced gum disease with laser therapy, antibiotics, soft tissue and bone grafting, flap (pocket reduction) surgery, guided tissue regeneration and additional treatments and procedures.

The most important way of helping avoid gum disease in the first place is by cleaning your teeth properly twice daily. Flossing daily is important, too, as is seeing your regular dentist at least twice a year. Unfortunately, even with proper oral hygiene, genetics can play a factor in gum disease susceptibility, as can individuals with diabetes, those who smoke and women facing the hormonal changes of pregnancy.

Gum Disease is Linked to Other Diseases

If gum disease isn’t treated early on, it inevitably becomes periodontitis, the most severe stage of gum disease. Both early stage gum disease (gingivitis) and moderate- to late- stage periodontitis have been linked to increased risks of systemic diseases that includes:

  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Diabetes
  • Osteoporosis
  • Pneumonia
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Some cancers

Keeping Gum Disease Under Control

Remember, periodontitis is not curable, but it is definitely manageable in the right hands. We’ll set up a personal maintenance plan to suit your individual needs and give you advice to help you stay on top of the disease at home. Gum disease does not go away on its own. Keeping it under control will help you keep your natural teeth longer and may prevent the need for more expensive and invasive steps.

Referrals to either of our offices in Northeast Philadelphia or Ambler are not necessary. Contact us today to address gum and teeth issues. Scheduling your appointment is the first step in reclaiming your oral and overall health!