Periodontics deals with the gums and soft tissues of the mouth. Along with the jaw bones, gums hold teeth firmly in place and protect below-the-gum tooth surfaces, which lack protective enamel.
When gums are compromised, bacteria can slip into the vulnerable area between teeth and gums. The result may be tooth decay, gum infection, or both.
How Can Gums be Compromised?
On tooth surfaces, we find a sticky colorless film called plaque. It contains a build-up of bacteria, which is what makes the substance sticky. Brushing and flossing regularly removes plaque before the salts in saliva act to harden it into calculus, a rough substance that irritates gums and interferes with the seal between gums and teeth. If bacteria is left in contact with tooth surfaces too long, the result is caries (cavities). These are infections of the softer tooth material beneath the enamel.
If bacteria gets a purchase in gum tissue, infection results. If that continues long enough, gums pull away so far that teeth can loosen in their sockets, and eventually there may even be bone loss.
- Bleeding gums
- Redness of gum tissue
- Swelling of gums around the teeth
- Breath odor
- Receding gums
- Mobility of teeth (loose teeth)
How to Begin
At Tribeca Dental Care in NYC, we believe that it’s easier than you think to achieve a beautiful smile and a lifetime of healthy teeth and gums, if you are willing to take it one step at a time. No matter what condition your teeth and gums are in, right now is the best time to begin. An exam, x-rays, and pictures of your mouth can tell us everything we need to know to come up with a step-by-step plan.