Healthy gums are the foundation for a healthy smile. Just as your teeth need routine care to prevent decay, your gums need regular care to prevent gum disease. Drs. Roy and Adam Eskow are periodontists, specializing in the prevention, treatment and management of gum disease and other periodontal concerns. We can coordinate treatment with your general dentist or offer complete oral care in our offices in Bethesda, Maryland and Washington DC.
About Gum Disease
The American Dental Association estimates that about half of the American adult population is affected by some form of gum disease. It is the leading cause of tooth loss in adults and has been linked to a number of other major health risks such as heart disease, diabetes, stroke and pregnancy related complications such as low birth weight.
Types of Gum Disease
- Gingivitis - Gingivitis is a common and mild form of gum disease that causes irritation, redness and swelling of your gums.
- Periodontitis - If left untreated, gingivitis can progress to periodontitis, an aggressive form of gum disease that can eventually lead to tooth loss.
Signs & Symptoms of Gum Disease
Millions of people suffer from gum diease without any obvious signs or symptoms. This is because gum disease is a "silent disease", meaning symptoms don't generally appear until late stages of infection.
There are a number of warning signs that could indicate periodontal disease including:
- Red, swollen or tender gums
- Bleeding gums
- Receding gums
- Loose or separating teeth
- Mouth sores
- Persistent bad breath
- Changes in the way your teeth fit together when you bite
- Changes in the fit of your dentures
The American Academy of Periodontology's risk assessment test will help you see if you are at risk for having or developing periodontal (gum) disease.
Non Surgical Treatment
Non surgical procedures are the first line of treatment, regardless of the stage of gum disease. The purpose of these non surgical treatments is to reduce the amount of plaque, tartar and bacteria in the periodontal pockets and along the teeth. If the deep pockets remain after non surgical therapies, Dr. Eskow may recommend gum grafting, periodontal plastic surgery or other surgical treatments for restoring gum health.
- A series of cleanings is usually the first stage of treatement. Known as scaling and root planing, this procedure involves the dentist removing plaque and tartar from the deep pockets of the gums.
- Antibiotics and antimicrobial rinses are also often used to reduce the amount of bacteria in the mouth and help control gum disease.
- With periodontal disease, it is important to visit the dentist frequently to monitor the health of gums and prevent the progression of disease.
Many patients who undergo non surgical procedures will achieve periodontal health without any further treatment. However, routine visits are essential to maintaining gum health. Patients with gum disease often need more frequent visits to the dentist to manage and prevent future gum disease.
Non-Surgical Treatment for Receding Gums
Chao Pinhole Surgical Technique
Pinhole Gum Rejuvenation is a patented, minimally invasive, microsurgical procedure for treating receding gums and a wonderful alternative to traditional gum grafting. Dr. Adam Eskow is proud to be one of the first dentists in Maryland to offer the "Lunchtime Gumlift™" and underwent special training to learn the technique that treats gum recession without incisions or sutures.
Surgical Periodontal Treatments
Gum disease often leads to gum recession. Exposed tooth roots can be a cosmetic concern and contribute to other dental health concerns like tooth root decay, loose teeth or bone loss. A gum graft surgery will repair the defect and prevent future gum recession and/or bone loss.
Dr. Eskow will transfer a thin piece of tissue, either from an adjacent area in your mouth or an alternative biologic material, to build up the affected area and cover exposed tooth roots. Gum grafting improves the health of the gums and protects sensitive tooth roots, also decreasing tooth sensitivity.
In some cases, osseous surgery may be needed to reduce the pocket depth and prevent the future build up of plaque and bacteria.
Periodontal Bone Grafting
Advanced periodontal disease can lead to bone recession, which can create unsightly spaces between teeth and eventually lead to tooth loss. Periodontal bone grafting helps regenerate lost bone and promote a healthier, more beautiful smile.