Treating Patients in Livingston, Short Hills & West Orange, NJ
If you are like most people, you think of the dentist as someone who takes care of your teeth. Although this association is not wrong, the dentist also monitors the health of your gums. Here at Northfield Dental Group we have a board certified Periodontist on staff to address all periodontal concerns. From implants to any and all periodontal surgical procedures, our board certified Periodontist will make you feel at home in our own state of the art facility.
At Northfield Dental Group, we see a number of patients who have early-stage periodontal (gum) disease, but do not realize it because they are not experiencing any painful symptoms. If left untreated, gum disease can lead to serious consequences for an individual’s oral health as well as their general health and wellbeing. Luckily, we offer patients in Short Hills, Livingston and West Orange periodontal dentistry, even if they may not recognize the overall importance of maintaining healthy gums.
Periodontal Disease, Explained
Periodontal disease is a bacterial infection of the gums and ultimately the jaw bone. Gum disease develops when an excessive amount of tartar, or calculus, builds up around the teeth and on the gums over time. (Tartar is the result of an excessive amount of plaque buildup.)
If left untreated, periodontal disease leads to the decay of jawbone and tissue matter, which hold the teeth in place. Advanced periodontal disease can eventually cause the teeth to fall out. Tooth decay and periodontal disease are the two main threats to maintaining good oral health.
Periodontal Disease Symptoms
The symptoms of early-stage periodontal disease are often difficult to detect, because they are mild. Early-stage periodontal disease is called gingivitis. Individuals with gingivitis may experience swollen, tender, red or bleeding gums; sensitive or loose teeth; expanding gaps between teeth; pain while chewing; a bad taste in the mouth; chronic bad breath (halitosis); receding gums; changes in bite; and changes in the fit of partial dentures.
Periodontal Disease Risk Factors
If you have any of the following risk factors, you might have an increased risk of developing gum disease:
- Poor oral hygiene
- Hereditary factors
- A smoking habit
- Chronic stress
- Misaligned, uneven teeth
- Defective fillings
- A regular need for medications that cause dry mouth
- Dental bridges that do not fit properly
- An immunodeficiency disorder, such as AIDS
- Female hormonal fluctuations (e.g., changes in hormones that occur with pregnancy)
What You Can Do to Protect Against Periodontal Disease
Again, gum disease not only causes permanent tooth loss if left untreated, but can also lead to serious health risks. For this reason, the dentists at Northfield Dental Group are committed to helping you prevent periodontal disease, as well as the added costs associated with treating advanced-stage gum disease.
On your end, you can help avoid periodontal disease by practicing good oral hygiene habits, including brushing your teeth twice a day, flossing every day and rinsing your mouth with an antiseptic fluoride mouthwash. Eating a well-balanced, nutritious diet also helps protect against periodontal disease.
In addition, make sure you make and keep all your dentist appointments. When you visit Northfield Dental Group for your regular dental exams and cleanings, your dentist has the opportunity to examine the health of your gums and teeth, so he can let you know if you are starting to show signs of early-stage gum disease. Because gum disease can be extremely dangerous if left untreated, it is critical that you contact our office immediately if you notice any pain or discomfort around your gums or teeth.
To schedule an appointment with one of our West Orange periodontal dentists to check the health of your gums and teeth, please contact Northfield Dental Group by calling (973) 736-0111 now.