Patient Education

Stages of Gum Disease

Making sure to properly brush and floss your teeth every day is important to avoid gum disease and reduce the risks that gum disease can have on your health. Researchers have found that approximately 75% of Americans have some form of gum disease, which has been linked to many other health complications and can cause more dental issues.

There are 3 stages of gum disease:

  1. Gingivitis

    Gingivitis is the early stage of gum disease. It is caused by plaque that has built up around teeth. This build up can cause inflammation of the gums. If you don’t brush and floss daily, the plaque will continue to grow and these bacteria can cause gum disease. Gums that appear red and swollen are a good indication that someone has gum disease. At this stage, gingivitis can be reversed as the bone has not yet been affected.

  2. Periodontitis

    If gingivitis is left untreated it can progress to the disease called periodontitis. During this stage, the supporting bone and fibers that hold your teeth have been damaged. This will cause deeper pockets to form around your teeth that can trap food, and bacterial plaque. Your gums may begin to recede and gaps may form. It is very important to get immediate treatment to stop the periodontitis from becoming more severe and reduce the possibility of tooth loss.

  3. Advanced Periodontitis

    This stage means that periodontitis has progressed to the severe stage. Bacteria that were allowed to grow have spread and deteriorated the connective tissues and bones that support your teeth.  The pockets that formed in early periodontists are much deeper allowing your teeth to shift or loosen. When your teeth are loose there is the high possibility that they will shift and negatively affect your bite. If you have advanced or sever periodontits, immediate treatment is necessary to attempt to save your teeth.

Dangers of Gum Disease

Did you know that millions of germs live in your mouth? If you are one of the many people that suffer from gum disease, you could have open areas in your gums that allow these disease causing bacteria to enter your blood stream. The bacteria can then circulate throughout your body. This can greatly increase your chance for disease in other parts of your body.

Links have been found between periodontal disease and heart disease, ischemic stroke, respiratory disease, head and neck cancer, kidney disease, diabetes, and increased risk of pre-term delivery. The leading cause of tooth loss for many adults throughout the United States is not cavities but gum disease.

Dr. Stanley Halpern, with his knowledgeable team, can help you to control your gum disease and get your mouth back on a healthy track. For more information or to schedule an appointment, call us at 770-928-6655 today!

Gum Disease and Diabetes

Researchers have found that the relationship between periodontal disease and diabetes can go both ways. Diabetic patients can have a much more difficult time controlling their blood sugar when they have gum disease. Diabetic patients are also more likely to have periodontal disease compared to those who do not have diabetes. This makes it very important for diabetics to strive to maintain a healthy blood sugar and seek periodontal treatment.

Diabetes Increases Chances of Periodontal Disease

Since diabetic patients have a much higher risk for infection, they are also more at risk of developing periodontal disease. Diabetic patients who do not keep their diabetes under control are at an even higher risk of developing gum disease. When a patient has uncontrolled diabetes it impairs their white blood cells, making it harder for their body to defend against bacterial infection that is occurring in their mouth. Together, these health issues can put a patient at higher risk for severe periodontal disease. Signs that a patient with diabetes may be suffering from periodontal disease include dry mouth, gum inflammation, and slow healing of the oral tissues.

Diabetes can also lead to thickening of the blood vessels. When blood vessels thicken it can slow the normal process of nutrient uptake and waste product removal from the tissues in the mouth. It decreases the body's ability to defend itself from bacterial infections that cause gum disease.

Diabetes and Periodontal Disease: A Two-Way Street

Diabetes not only affects periodontal disease, but gum disease can affect diabetes. Periodontal disease can make it harder for a patient with diabetes to control their blood sugar.

Researchers have found that periodontal disease can increase blood sugar which in turn increases the amount of time the body functions with high blood sugar. Gum disease is a chronic infection and it can have a truly negative impact on a patient's metabolic status. This can lead to an increased risk for complications of diabetes (retinopathy, neuropathy, and high blood pressure).

By treating periodontal disease, a diabetic patient is better able to control his or her blood sugar properly. If you are a diabetic dealing with periodontal disease, don't let another day go by untreated! Call us today and let Dr. Halpern get you on the road to a healthy smile and healthier you!

Frequently Asked LASER Questions

Dr. Stanley Halpern at Northwest Periodontics is a LASER trained periodontist. Dr. Halpern is trained and licensed in the LASER Assisted New Attachment Procedure (LANAP®), which is one of the least invasive surgery modalities used for the treatment of gum disease. Below are a few frequently asked questions with detailed answers. Should you have further questions, call us today!

Q: Is periodontal disease and gum disease the same?

A:Periodontal disease and gum disease are one in the same. The two main forms of periodontal disease are Gingivitis and Periodontitis. Gum disease is the infection of the gums that is initiated with plaque. As plaque begins to form on your teeth, with time it can progress to Gingivitis or Periodontitis.

Q: What are some other benefits of LASER Gum Surgery in Woodstock?

A:Unlike other forms of gum surgery, LASER therapy is not as invasive. This allows the patient to heal faster and not have to deal with much discomfort. LANAP®'s method decreases the recession of the gum line and helps save diseased teeth while promoting bone regeneration.

Q: How can I be sure that LASER treatment is safe?

A:A: We strongly stand behind LASER treatment because the PerioLase®MVP-7™ is FDA approved! It also has human histology research completed to show its safety and effectiveness for improving the health of your gums. Dr. Halpern has been trained and licensed to provide LASER gum surgery to his patients.

Q: How can I know if LASER treatment is the right option for me?

A:A: Should you have any concerns about your gums, contact us today to schedule an appointment with Dr. Halpern. During your appointment, Dr. Halpern will evaluate your mouth and discuss all of your options with you.

As a Specialist in Periodontics, Dr. Halpern is proud to provide his services to patients in Marietta, Kennesaw, Canton, Acworth, Roswell, and Woodstock, GA.