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Periodontal disease (also known as gum disease) is an infection and inflammation of the gums caused by bacteria along the gum line and around a tooth (or multiple teeth).

Gum disease is a pretty common issue and can be easily treated in its earlier phase (gingivitis). At this time there will be swelling and minor redness along the gumline. This is due to the inflammatory response of your immune system. By visiting the dentist to treat your gingivitis, you greatly reduce the chances of long-term damage. If you allow the issue to progress, though, it can eventually lead to permanent damage.

For gum disease therapy in Forest Hills NY, reach out to Forest Hills Dental. We regularly treat patients with gum disease and will restore your gums to their natural state.

Do I Have Gum Disease?

In order to diagnose gum disease, you’ll need to set an appointment with your dentist. Dr. Gregory Mark at Forest Hills Dental will perform a periodontal examination. This involves the measuring of six key points around each tooth to determine what level your gums attach to the roots of your teeth. X-rays are also used to check the bone height between your teeth. More advanced gum disease will actually destroy your bone structure, and Dr. Mark will check for any damage.

Some of the most common signs of gum disease include:

  • Bleeding of the gums (particularly when brushing and flossing)
  • Tooth mobility
  • Gum recession (the appearance of longer teeth)
  • Bad breath
  • Large spaces between your teeth that didn’t use to be there
  • Food getting stuck between your teeth

If you smoke or use tobacco products, this can mask the symptoms.

During your exam, Dr. Mark will check to see if your gum pockets (the space between your tooth and gums where the gums attach) are deeper than 3mm. Less than 3mm is considered healthy. If pockets are deeper, this means there is likely disease and even bone loss.

The Health Risks of Gum Disease

Gum disease starts as a minor issue that is easily treated. If you set an appointment for a cleaning and checkup every six months, Dr. Mark will diagnose and treat your gum disease before it gets worse. Over time, though, the risks become higher as the disease gets worse.

One of the most common issues caused by advanced periodontal disease is bone and tooth loss. Once gum disease has advanced to the phase of periodontitis, the chances of permanent damage and bone loss increase. Eventually, teeth may become loose and fall out.

A periodontal infection also causes an immune response in your body. This leads to inflammation. Over time, oral plaque can spread into your bloodstream. Gum disease can actually contribute to heart attacks and strokes!

Some of the medical conditions that have been linked to gum disease include:

  • Bone loss
  • Heart attack and stroke
  • Diabetes
  • Infertility
  • Pneumonia
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Preeclampsia

There is a possible link to Alzheimer’s disease as well.

Treating gum disease will allow your body to better overcome other health issues and fight off disease.

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Difference Between Gingivitis and Periodontitis

Gum disease has different stages. Gingivitis is the first stage of gum disease. At this stage, gum disease is easily reversed. Generally, a patient will notice inflamed gums and bleeding when brushing and flossing. If you notice these symptoms, set an appointment with Forest Hills Dental so we can take a look. If you don’t notice, Dr. Mark will discover the disease during your regularly scheduled checkup.

Periodontitis is the more advanced form of gum disease. Once gum disease has reached this stage, things become more problematic. First, there will be slight bone loss and gum damage. Over time this will advance and there will be more bone loss and destruction of gum tissue. Eventually, the teeth of a patient will become loose and there will be pain when eating and chewing. Finally, the patient’s teeth will fall out.

While there are treatment options, prevention is the best option. Make sure you take proper care of your oral health and set an appointment with Forest Hills Dental for your next cleaning and checkup.

Gum Disease Treatment Options

Once you set an appointment with Forest Hills Dental, Dr. Mark will take a look at your gums and determine how advanced the gum disease is. If the disease has progressed and become more severe, a deep cleaning may be considered to resolve the problem.

During a deep cleaning, Dr. Mark numbs the area of the mouth that needs the cleaning and will clean the roots (under the gums). Deep cleanings are done in quadrants, often with two quadrants being done at a time. After a couple of weeks, the other quadrants can be completed. This cuts down on the length of time of each procedure and also prevents the need for anesthetizing the entire mouth all at once.

A powerful tool that can be used during periodontal treatment is soft tissue laser therapy. In combination with conventional periodontal treatments, soft tissue laser therapy decreases the amounts of bacteria present while enhancing the ability of the surrounding tissue to reattach to the roots of teeth. This shortens the depth of the pockets.

Additional Procedures

If periodontal disease has become bad enough, other procedures may be necessary. This includes gum or bone grafting. A small number of localized antibiotics also may need to be placed inside of diseased gum pockets. The medication (contained in small pellets) is excreted into the bottom of the pockets following a deep cleaning. A patient is discouraged from flossing the area for at least a week to allow the antibiotics to work without the pellets being accidentally removed. They will slowly dissolve over time.


After periodontal treatment, it’s important to maintain proper oral health habits to avoid the disease returning. You’ll also want to visit Forest Hills Dental every 3-4 months for maintenance cleanings after more advanced treatment.

Make sure to brush and floss twice a day, every day and be thorough. Flossing properly removes bacteria from between the teeth and below the gumline. You also may consider purchasing a water flosser for better results.

Is Gum Disease Inherited?

There is a genetic component to oral health but, for most patients, this isn’t a major factor. Instead, gum disease is a result of poor oral health habits. With good oral health habits and regular visits to the dentist, you can prevent gum disease and other oral health issues.

Why Forest Hills Dental?

When it comes to deep cleanings or regular cleanings and checkups, there are many options to choose from in Forest Hills. The best company for dental services that range from simple to advanced is Forest Hills Dental.

Forest Hills Dental provides outstanding dental services at affordable rates. At Forest Hills Dental, we believe all patients deserve quality dental services—no matter what their income level is. We also believe in providing patients with the best customer service possible. We promise to treat you like family. It’s our goal to see you smile!

With over 30 years of experience in the field of dentistry, Dr. Gregory Mark is able to provide both general and deep cleanings. We promise your cleaning will go seamlessly and you’ll be happy with the results.

Payment Options

Forest Hills Dental believes every patient deserves oral healthcare services. It doesn’t matter what your background or income level is—you deserve oral healthcare. That is why we offer flexible payment options.

If you have insurance, we will work with your insurance company to make sure you are getting the best coverage possible. We will then provide you with a detailed estimate. If you don’t have insurance, don’t worry! We also accept CareCredit.

Let us know if you have any payment concerns and we will work with you to find a payment option that works for you.

Reach Out to Forest Hills Dental Today for Gum Disease Therapy in Forest Hills NY!

If you notice bleeding when brushing and/or flossing, swollen/puffy gums, discoloration, tenderness, or any other abnormalities, you may have gum disease. It’s important to set an appointment with a dentist to take a look and see if you have gum disease. From there, your dentist can treat the issue before it becomes worse.

For gum disease treatment, reach out to Forest Hills Dental. Dr. Mark will take a look at your gums and teeth to see what is causing the issue. He will then provide a cleaning. If the gum disease has advanced to the point of periodontitis, we will schedule you for a deep cleaning. We will also provide gum or bone grafting (if needed).

Reach out to Forest Hills Dental today to learn more about gum disease and what treatments are available. If you don’t already have an appointment scheduled for a regular cleaning and checkup, let us know. We’ll make sure to get you scheduled for one.

We look forward to meeting you and treating your gum disease.


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