How many Americans around the age of 45 do you suppose have periodontal disease right now? 10{8bebb06202f253eab64bd62bebb9dca42636bc84080db12b2a7d30388aeb0ec7}? 20{8bebb06202f253eab64bd62bebb9dca42636bc84080db12b2a7d30388aeb0ec7}? 40{8bebb06202f253eab64bd62bebb9dca42636bc84080db12b2a7d30388aeb0ec7}?

If you guessed any of the above, you are not even close. It is actually more than 80{8bebb06202f253eab64bd62bebb9dca42636bc84080db12b2a7d30388aeb0ec7}.

If that figure scares you, it should. Periodontal disease can cause your teeth to loosen and even fall out, leading to the need for restorative dentistry treatments like implants or dentures. The other thing about periodontal disease (which is also referred to as gum disease) is that it cannot be cured, only managed. Once you have gum disease, you have it for life.

Now that we have you feeling really nervous, we should point out that gum disease is not a fatal condition, and that it is far from hard to manage, especially if caught in its early stages. The branch of dentistry that deals with gum disease is periodontics, and the treatments include procedures like root planing and scaling, which are a way of getting down deep into your gums, where pockets form that hold harmful bacteria.

With root planing and scaling, the plaque and tartar that form on your teeth and under the gum line are extracted, and then your teeth are smoothed out so healing can occur. Usually a couple of treatments are needed. Severe cases of gum disease may require surgery.

Your best course of defense against periodontal disease is a good offense. That means seeing your dentist twice a year for checkups and cleanings.

Contact Us

If you suspect that you have periodontal disease, contact Dr. William Schlesinger at 212-517-4660 for a checkup. Caught early, gum disease is very treatable. Our dentist office is located at 225 East 70th Street, Suite 1E, New York, NY 10021. You can also request an appointment by using the form on our Contact Us page.