Periodontics (Gum Therapy)

Bruce E. Berkowitz, DMD

General & Cosmetic Dentist located in Midtown, New York, NY

According to a study from the U.S. National Institute of Health (NIH), more than half of the American population over 30 reported they'd had bleeding gums. Most people think it’s normal if their gums bleed when they brush or floss their teeth, but it’s a sign of gum disease. If treated soon enough, periodontal therapy can prevent further complications from this disease. Dr. Bruce Berkowitz has been helping patients achieve healthy gums for over 30 years. Call or schedule an appointment online if you think you might need gum therapy.

Periodontics (Gum Therapy) Q & A

What is gum disease?

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:

  • Swollen, tender, or bleeding gums
  • Gums that recede from the tooth
  • Chronic bad breath or a persistent bad taste in your mouth
  • Loose teeth
  • Visible pus surrounding your teeth and gums

What causes gum disease?

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.

How can you treat gum disease?

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:

  • Poor oral hygiene
  • Smoking or chewing tobacco
  • Genetics
  • Crooked teeth that are hard to keep clean
  • Pregnancy
  • Diabetes
  • Certain medications, including steroids, certain types of anti-epilepsy drugs, cancer therapy drugs, some calcium channel blockers, and oral contraceptives

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. 

What Insurance do you accept for Periodontics?

If you have any concerns about your insurance payment, we accept the following for all dental services:

  • Aetna
  • BCBS
  • Cigna
  • Delta Dental
  • Guardian
  • MetLife