Gum disease, or periodontal disease, is an infection or inflammation of the tissues surrounding and supporting your teeth. It can progress to affect the bone that surrounds and supports your teeth as well, ultimately causing tooth loss.
There are three stages of gum disease: gingivitis, periodontitis, and advanced periodontitis. Because gum disease is usually painless in its early stages, you may not know you have it. It’s important to be aware of the signs and symptoms:
Plaque, a sticky film of bacteria that forms on the surface of your teeth, causes gum disease. The bacteria create toxins that damage your gums and underlying bone.
In the early stage of gum disease -- gingivitis – your gums become red, swollen, and bleed easily. At this stage, the disease is still reversible, and you can usually get rid of it with daily brushing and flossing.
In the more advanced stages of gum disease -- periodontitis -- the gums and bones supporting your teeth become severely damaged. As a result, your teeth become loose, and either fallout or Dr. Berkowitz has to remove them.
If discovered early, Dr. Berkowitz can treat gum disease without surgery. The most effective treatment is scaling and root planing (SRP).
During SRP, Dr. Berkowitz cleans between the gums and teeth down to the root surface. Sometimes it’s necessary to use a local anesthetic. It’s crucial that patients with gum disease have this procedure done.
By removing plaque and tartar, he can stunt the growth of harmful bacteria. Sometimes Dr. Berkowitz prescribes an antibiotic in addition to the SRP to help eliminate harmful bacteria.
Treating conditions that encourage gum disease is also beneficial. Factors that increase the risk of developing gum disease include:
An infection in your gums can affect your overall health. If you suspect you have gum disease, call Dr. Berkowitz today or schedule an appointment online. The sooner you treat it, the better.
If you have any concerns about your insurance payment, we accept the following for all dental services:
At Dr. Berkowitz's office, we accept the following major insurance plans. Please contact our office if you do not see your insurance provider listed.