Why is Periodontal Disease a problem?
Adults over 35 lose more teeth to gum disease (periodontal disease) than from cavities. Three out of four adults are affected at some time in their life. The best way to prevent cavities and periodontal disease is by good tooth brushing and flossing techniques, performed daily.
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But recently, periodontal disease has been proven to be a threat to more than your teeth. Research has linked the bacteria associated with gum disease with an increase risk in:
- Heart Disease
- Certain cancers, including pancreatic cancer
- Rheumatoid Arthritis
- Complications controlling blood sugar levels in diabetes
- Low birth weight babies
- Premature birth
What is Periodontal Disease?
Both periodontal disease and decay are both caused by bacterial plaque – a sticky colorless film, which sticks to your teeth at and below the gum line. Plaque constantly forms on your teeth beginning within minutes after cleaning. If not carefully removed by daily brushing and flossing, plaque hardens into a rough, porous substance known as calculus. This cannot be removed without professional cleaning.
Periodontal disease is an inflammatory process beginning in the gums. The bacteria found in plaque produces toxins that irritate the gums, which may cause them to turn red, swell and bleed easily. However, don’t be fooled. With periodontal disease, bleeding, redness and swelling do not have to be present.
Pain is usually not associated with periodontal disease. If this irritation is prolonged, the gums separate from the teeth, causing pockets (spaces) to form. Untreated, the disease progresses down the root surface into the underlying bone. The end result is the supporting gum tissue and bone that holds teeth in place deteriorate resulting in bone loss which destroys the support of your natural teeth leading to tooth loss.
What are factors that impact Periodontal Health?
The best way to prevent cavities and periodontal diseases is by daily tooth brushing and flossing techniques and regular professional examinations and cleanings.
Unfortunately, even with the most diligent home dental care, people still can develop some form of periodontal disease. Once this disease starts, professional intervention is necessary to prevent its progress.
Factors that Increase Chances of Periodontal Disease
- Tobacco use
- Puberty (increased hormones increase gum sensitivity)
- Clenching and grinding teeth
- Various medications
- Poor nutrition
Steps to prevent periodontal disease include:
- Daily brushing and flossing to remove plaque from your teeth and gums
- Regular dental visits for professional cleaning
- Regular periodontal evaluations
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Systemic Effects & Treatment.
Periodontal treatment is necessary when various conditions affect the health of your gums and the regions of your jawbone that hold your teeth in place. Retaining your teeth is directly dependent on proper periodontal care and maintenance. Healthy gums enhance the appearance of your teeth, like a frame around a beautiful painting. When your gums become unhealthy, they can either recede or become swollen and red. In later stages, the supporting bone is destroyed and your teeth will shift, loosen or fall out. These changes not only affect your ability to chew and speak, they also affect your smile.
Dr. Hochberg and Dr. Diora are very conservative in their approach to treating periodontal disease. They believe in non-surgical treatment whenever appropriate. However, if periodontal disease is advanced, they will refer the patient to a periodontist.
Debridement is the removal of heavy plaque and calculus from your teeth; it is usually the first step in treating periodontal disease. The plaque and calculus are removed with an ultrasonic scaler. Gentle and effective, this tool removes the build-up with water and high-frequency waves.
Scaling & Root Planing
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Scaling & Root Planing.
For plaque and calculus below the gum line, we use scaling and root planning, a conservative, non-invasive and efficient treatment method.
The initial stage of treatment is a thorough cleaning that may include scaling to remove plaque and calculus deposits beneath the gum line.
The tooth roots may also be planed. This procedure smooths the root surface, allowing the gum tissue to heal and reattach to the tooth.
In some cases, the occlusion (bite) may require adjustment.
Antibiotics or irrigation with anti-microbials (chemical agents or mouth rinses) may be recommended to help control the growth of bacteria that create toxins and cause periodontitis. In some cases, we may place antibiotic fibers in the periodontal pockets after scaling and planing. These antibiotics control infection and encourage normal healing.
A few weeks after this procedure is completed, the pockets around the teeth are measured to determine if treatment has been effective and they have reduced in size.
When deep pocket areas do not resolve the patient may be referred to a periodontist.
Gum Disease Laser Therapy
The latest conservative gum therapy uses a laser. The laser gently disinfects and evaporates diseased tissues from around the tooth and inside the gum pocket. This treatment interrupts the bacterial destruction of the tissues and bones, giving the gum pockets a chance to heal
Repeated visits, generally 2-8, allow the gum pocket to be disease-free and sometimes allow tissues to reattach to the pocket back to a normal or near-normal depth.
Laser therapy is gentle and has a relatively quick recovery. While surgery may still be indicated for severely advanced periodontal cases, laser therapy is a much more conservative, effective and comfortable option for beginning to moderate periodontal cases.
Patient Reviews for Gum Disease Treatment, Scaling and Root Planing
Colony Square Dental Associates
On December 31, I had an appointment with Dr. Diora and Karren Dennegall. I have to admit that I was dreading it because anything associated with having work done on my teeth that involves cutting, drilling or filling has generally resulted in discomfort, pain, sometimes thrush, and miserable recovery time (none of which you did, by the way). That’s why I’ve been so grateful my childhood fillings have lasted 50 years. The people who work in your office are always polite, cheerful and considerate. Even your other Karen, my poor hygienist, who has suffered through cleaning these crowded teeth every few months since 2002, still greets me happily when I come in. It seems wild to be able to say this, but even though my dread increased as we headed for the room, when I actually got there and settled into the chair, Karren was able to make the visit feel more like an adventure than a filling. Throughout the entire procedure they: • explained everything they were going to do as they were doing it so I could be prepared for what was going to happen. • were very sensitive to my comfort level and made sure I was as pain free as possible considering the circumstances. • showed me what they had done to the tooth and made sure it was comfortable for me to chew. • were cheerful, upbeat and fun in their approach. I am generally resistant to anything that restricts my movement because it makes me feel like a prisoner or kidnap victim. I’ve got to tell you, however, that the gadget they put in my mouth to hold it open seemed a little daunting at first, but being relieved of the responsibility of keeping it open and holding my tongue out of the way allowed me to relax. It really reduced my stress. I’m writing today to tell you that although I started the appointment with dread, getting this tooth filled actually turned out to be a delightful experience. (How many people in this world can say that?) I left feeling great, have had absolutely no pain, and can truthfully say that I’ll look forward to the next time a filling fails. Thank you all so much!!! Charlotte Swafford
- Charlotte S
I am very happy with the office. I have been coming since 1981 and have always been pleased with my dentalcare, hygienist, the office staff, Dr. Hochberg, Eleanor, Dr. D. Hope I have not missed anyone.
- James L
Best dentist and staff on the 12th floor
- Tom V
This office has a fantastic staff and they are very professional at all times.
- Seawadon H
Came in for a filling, not always a fun task. Dr. Diora and Karren were amazing.
- Alison A
I have always been treated with friendliness, professionalism,and patience. Dr. Hockberg is the very best dentist I have ever had. Sharlene and the entire staff are expert at their jobs. They are all so kind to me and make my experience rather enjoyable, if that is possible going to the dentist. Denise Cripe
- Denise C
Y'all are absolutely a 5 star service provider!! I felt and feel completely comfortable and at ease in your care. You are wonderful educators as well! Can't recommend y'all enough!
- Hadley G
This staff is amazing, They are very friendly and do a fantastic job at everything! I will come back and definitely be referring friends and family! Love it here!
- Justin L
Very good communication with staff about appointments and parking
- Philip W
Karen is always great. Has a really good attitude and compels you to better dental health with kindness
- Taylor S
Absolutely LOVE Dr. Diora and Karen (k2). They made me feel so much better!
- Katie S
A very easy experience, thank you!
- Daniel C
Great experience. I will definitely be coming back.
- Kyle B
Staff is always smiling, friendly, and welcoming. There are TVs in every room, headphones always offered, they're always trying to make it a comfortable experience. They answer all of our questions with a smile on their face, and are always willing to help however they can! We really enjoy this office.
- Nichole T
Dr. Hochberg did an awesome job on my teeth. The bonding work looks just like my teeth. He was maticulous and took great care. I an extremely pleased.
- Maleia W
Had a new hygienist today- Michelle- and thought she did an awesome job! Have always loved coming to Dr. Diora and do recommend this practice to my friends
- Lauren B
No one really enjoys going to the dentist office...That said, I can absolutely say that this practice must be the best in Atlanta. Don't hesitate. Your shopping around is over. This Is The Place!
- Ray M
I have been doing to this group for decades. Everyone is super nice and professional. Dr. Hochberg is the BEST!
- Emiko H
Amazing staff . Would highly recommend this dental practice
- Hollie G
I have been coming to this dental office for years. I always get the best care. I wouldn't go anywhere else. Everyone rocks!
- Calvin H