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FAQ:  Gum Disease - Periodontitis


Gum Laser Therapy (LANAP)
A Favorite Pain Free Flossing Alternative

Is Gum Disease Contagious?
Anatomy of Basic and Advanced Gum Disease
New Developments in Periodontics
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Periodontitis Surgery
Periodontal Disease Treatment Alternatives
Gum Tissue Harvesting (graft surgery)
Gum Grafting Procedure (recession)
All New Teeth - One Appointment


Ara Nazarian DDS, Troy MI



  • I have advanced Periodontal disease. I notice that my gums are fading away. The skin around my mouth is all puckered. I had scaling done and now have invisilign braces but my gums continue to recede. ...Visitor from New York     (answer)

  • I am 55 years old. My teeth flare outwards between my lips. I am sufferrring from pyorrhea. My gums also became short and the roots of my front tooth are visible. I visited a dentist who suggested to me two different ways for treatment and improving my smile. The first is to do root canal treatment and gum surgery for pyorrhea and then reduce the size of my teeth with ceramic caps. The second recommendation is to remove the front teeth where roots are visible, root canals, treat pyorrhea and place crowns where needed. I am also suffering from high blood pressure, cholestorol issues, ulcers and acidity problems. Which treatment is safe and most suitable for me in long run? ...Visitor from India     (answer)

  • Acute necrotizing ginigvitis and dentures: I was diagnosed with ANUG at 19, I am 36 now. I had a gum graft over a lower front tooth and have had more recession over the years. I was seeing a dentist on a regular basis, had deep cleanings, a few cavaities filled and then was on a schedule of 4 yearly cleanings until the disease was under control. Unfortunatly, I was not able to continue with the care for quite some time and had huge plaque build up. I recently had an appt with a dentist and had a full mouth debridement, I am also on an antibiotic and peridex. I saw the periodontist and he told me dentures are the way to go. I asked if bone grafting would be a possibility, he said anything other than dentures is "patchwork". Is this true? ...Visitor from Canada     (answer)

  • Can I get bridges if I have gum disease with bone loss? ...Visitor from SC     (answer)

  • Swollen gums: When I sleep I bite down really hard and its starting to make my teeth really sensitive. But for the past week or so my gums have been really swollen. I can barely eat they hurt so bad. It hurts too much to brush and bleed during the night. I went to my dentist he suggested new toothpaste so I changed but it didn't work. I seriously brush about 3 times a day helps a little. But my gums are still sevrely swollen. My question is what can I do to take the swelling away? Please help!! Im hurting. ...Visitor from TX     (answer)

  • I have had gum disease it seems most of my life. From time to time my gums will bleed when I brush, and sometimes they will swell a bit around one tooth. It usually subsides on its own. I am a 59 year old female. I have teeth that are part crowns, part bridges and I have a few left that are my own. My question is this: Because my teeth don't match and look less than attractive I'd like to get an entire set of implants. IF I get the implants will my gum disease go away? What if I take some antibiotics after getting the implants? ...Visitor from FL     (answer)

  • Bone Loss (Possible Fracture) and Tooth Extraction: I am 37 years old and was told that my #4 tooth that is a 15 year old crown will need to be removed. Back in October the pocket next to the tooth went from being a 5 to a 10. At the time, I was sent to a periodontist and was given a PerioLase LANAP. Now six months later, my periodontist says that the pocket is now a 9. He indicated that since I show no improvement, that he believes that I might have a bone loss fracture and wants to remove my tooth. I'm scared I don't want this to happen if I don't need to. From the xrays, it appears to be a slight bone loss but is difficult to determine. What happens if I wait? I'm not in any pain. Can I get a bone graft and still keep my tooth? ...Visitor from OR     (answer)

  • Severely receded gums lower jaw: My gums on the lower jaw are severely receded in the front. No roots yet but it's moving fast. I have noticed serious deterioration in the last year. My question is, is there any treatment that will encourage the gums to "move back up" on their own? I am fairly convinced that the cause is twofold.....years of smoking and I had a severe case of gingivitis for a long time. ...Visitor from TX     (answer)

  • Can Periostat and Arestin be used together for treatment of periodontal disease? ...Visitor from NH     (answer)

  • Tooth replacement options: I am 46 years old and my teeth are in very bad condition. I have minor periodontal disease. I recently saw a dentist who said that pretty much all the teeth I have left need root canals. They indicated that for approximately $40K I could have combination of root canals - crowns and implants in areas where I already have missing teeth. The cost is too much. I've been considering asking for full dentures, but hear many negative things about fit and bone loss. I'm wondering what options there might be for someone in my situation. Are total implants a possibility and if so are they very expensive? ...Visitor from IN     (answer)

  • Bad teeth Pyorrhea: I have always had bad teeth since I was a child. For the past 10 - 15 years my teeth have been VERY sensitive, blackening and breaking. They HURT. My front left tooth is broke almost to the gum line. All I have ever wanted is to have all my teeth pulled and to get dentures. My question is does Pyorrhea actually exist? My Dad and his parents had it and had their teeth pulled before they were 24 years old. I am 31 and it's getting worse and even now more painful. What can I do??? ...Visitor from MN     (answer)

  • Implants and gum disease: I am 36 years old and 7 months ago I had a loose top front tooth extracted. This was followed a few weeks later with laser surgery to correct the peridontal disease I was told my gums had. My dentist says that my gums improved a lot, but that it will probably be another YEAR before an implant. My gums have healed pretty well, I think, and haven't bled once since the procedure. I've already had to deal with the embarassment of the obvious gap for 7 months before he finally made my 'flipper' last week. Now I can't talk correctly whenever I wear it. I want an implant. Do I really have to wait another year to see an oral surgeon about one? Can't one be placed now? Should I seek a second opinion or wait? ...Visitor from TX     (answer)

  • Periodontitis: I was told by my dentist that I have bone loss in 3 quadrants and I could loose my molars. My pockets are measuring 5-6 mm in some spots. My question is how severe is this? Am I a candidate for scaling because the periodontist immediately suggested gum flap surgery. This seems really aggressive to me seeing as this is the first I have heard of the bone loss ...Visitor from NY     (answer)

  • Periodontal Disease / Dentures: I have severe periodontal disease in my upper teeth with a lot of bone loss and I'm getting dentures next week. My question is, once I have my teeth pulled does that take care of the periodontal disease, or is it in my jaw bone? Is pulling the teeth enough to get rid of the disease or are additional treatments for the disease needed even though I'm getting dentures? ...Visitor from MI     (answer)

  • Periodontal Disease? I had a tooth pulled because of bone loss (pain/infection) and was given antibiotics for the first indication of pain. After 14 days of antibiotics, I had the tooth pulled and it was still abcessed - infected. I was given more antibiotics and went home to heal. A month later, an abcess erupts next to the tooth that was just pulled. Question, can infection stay in the gums? Also does root planning and scaling completely get rid of infection of the gums? Why is this infection sticking around so long? Is this normal with perio pockets and bone loss? ...Visitor from PA     (answer)

  • Advanced Periodontitis treatment with mini implants? I have advanced periodontal gum disease and need my upper teeth removed. I'm considering mini implants because of cost and am wondering if bone will grow around the mini implants like it would with regular implants? In the future would regular implants be an option for me or am I stuck with the mini style once I make that choice? I'm only 47 and dentures aren't an option at this point. ...Visitor from WI     (answer)

  • Gum Disease, Bone Loss and Dentures: Where I have missing teeth on top there looks like there is no gum. Will I have trouble getting dentures? I have missing teeth on the bottom too. I have periodontal disease but never had the money to get teeth fixed, but now I do. I hope its not too late. I don't want to be toothless. ...Visitor from NY     (answer)

  • Perio Disease and Damon Self Ligating Braces: I have perio problems with approximately 40% bone loss. Is it possible for me to have self ligating (damon system) braces? ...Visitor from London United Kingdom     (answer)

  • Dental Bridge for Tooth Replacements? I have severe periodontal disease on most of my upper teeth. Only six of my upper teeth are secure. The two last teeth and the two opposite my four front teeth. Can I get a dental bridge without implants? I am diabetic and my bone will definitely need to grafted, if implants are needed. However, can I work with the strong teeth I have remaining to get a bridge. ...Visitor from NY     (answer)

  • Cleaning Deep Pockets: I am going to have some of my teeth with #6 or 7 depth cleaned. They are going numb the teeth, one quadrant at a time and inject an antibiotic (tetracyline) at the root of each tooth after they have been planed. I had a corrected Coarctation (of the aorta) when I was ten years old so I am cautious. Could you please tell me more about this procedure and it's success rate? ...Visitor from CA     (answer)

  • Peridontal disease: I am 49 years old and was told by the dentist that I have advanced periodontal disease. So much so that she couldn't figure out why my teeth were so tight in my mouth. She felt they should be hanging on by a thread. I want to get some sort of treatment to align my teeth back. I have one front tooth that sticks out and my bottom two front teeth have moved away from each other until I appear to have a gap. Some of my other teeth are starting to space apart. I've also lost about two teeth in upper left side. Would it make sense to get braces, since I am told I will eventually lose my teeth and there is no way to stop it? ...Visitor from IL     (answer)

  • Hurting Gums: My gums on my left side, top and bottom have been hurting so bad I haven't been sleeping. They bleed a little but they are not swollen and they are pink. How can I stop the pain? Do you think I have gum disease? ...Visitor from NM     (answer)

  • Root Canal and Gum Disease: I have very bad gum disease. All of my teeth are quite loose. Except for the gum disease, my teeth are ok. My periodontist has said it's time to throw in the towel and consider full dentures. He doesn't easily suggest dentures. I don't like the idea of losing all of my healthy teeth because my gums are unhealthy. Could root canal work save them? ...Visitor from MO     (answer)

  • Dentures for Periodontal Problems? I have been to many many dentists and periodontists with no luck. I have my teeth cleaned every 3-4 months but have been told I have moderate gum disease with some pocketing. My teeth look good but I have problems with my tongue being coated and feeling like I have a breath problem. I have expressed concern about removing my teeth but am told I shouldn't do that. I do have a permanent bridge in the front left side of my mouth. I have tried every product on the market to try to solve this problem. Would you recommend that dentures on my upper mouth would be the right decision? Please give me some advice because no one else seems to know the answer. ...Visitor from VA     (answer)

  • Gum recession and collapse: I had periodontal scaling and planing and within a couple of days my gums over a part of my front 6 tooth upper bridge severely receded and left a gaping hole. The periodontist could not explain the problem, said he had never seen this before or read about it before. He thought that perhaps I had a reaction to the antibiotic gel placed under the gums. A hygienest performed the procedure and the doctor merely provided the local anastesia. I am searching for an answer as to why this happened. The Periodontist says I need to have it grafted. ...Visitor from NJ     (answer)

  • I am in quite a quandry. I went to a periodontist today who suggested I have surgery to build up my lost bone mass. This procedure will cost approximately $4,000. A cheaper alternative, costing $750, is to deep clean my pockets, only really prolonging the inevitable tooth loss. I do not have the money for surgery and if spending $750 is really only a "quick" fix, should I just wait and investigate dentures? I am 47 years old. I would appreciate any input you can give me. ...Visitor from NJ     (answer)

  • I had a minor stroke in January of 2002 with no permanent disabilities. However, the results of my brain scan revealed some abnormal brain atrophy. In June I went to my dentist for my annual check-up and he told me to see a specialist because I had significant gum atrophy. Based on this information, I have three questions on which I would like > you to respond.
    1. Do you know of any global diseases that would have an effect on both the brain an gums?
    2. What are the causes and possible treatments for gum atrophy?
    3. What type of doctor would you suggest I see to address the gum atrophy?
    Visitor from NJ     (answer)

  • My teeth are extremely discolored (also with old bonding on the front top 6 which was made gray!), I've had braces (and still have 3 crooked front bottom teeth), I have had the full perodontal surgery twice, and I grind my teeth. I'm 42 and looking for painfree and white teeth! The periodontal damage (severe boneloss)is in the rear teeth top and bottom. My question is: Is it worth investing money on crowns (front top 6 teeth)and partials (rear top and bottom with the bottom partial also replacing the crooked front teeth)? They would be white, but would they last with the periodontal problems? Is it true that if the rear problem teeth are removed that the periodontal problem will go away also? Or would dentures be a wiser and more economic solution? I could have had 2 doctorate degrees by now with the amount of money that has gone into my mouth - and they're still ugly!!! And I'm tired of the pain from loose teeth and abcesses regularly! HELP!!! I need to decide ASAP. I'm planning on going to college this fall and would like to be done with this matter by summer.     (answer)

  • Bone degeneration and tooth loss: My dentist wants to pull my four bottom front teeth due to significant bone loss. Is there anything that I can do to prevent this such as perhaps having bone grafted to the existing bone while the teeth are still in my mouth or some other kind of stabilizing surgery? I'm only 46 and don't want to have the teeth pulled when they are not giving me any trouble . . . I realize that I may have to some day, but I would like other options to try and delay this as long as possible. Especially since they are all four bottom front teeth. ...Visitor from NY     (answer)

  • Periodontal Disease since Age 22: I have been doing alot of research online about this, but I'm still unsure on what my options are. I am 26 years old and I have been suffering from periodontal disease since I was about 22. I have always brushed and taken care of my teeth so I was a little confused when it started. I have seen a couple dentists about the problem, but was treated poorly and didn't get much help. At this point, my gums have receded almost entirely from my bottom front teeth, and it is truly beginning to affect my life. I can't seem to enjoy anything that I used to, because in the back of my mind I am constantly thinking about this problem. I wonder what I would be a candidate for? Are implants possible for me? ...Visitor from NY     (answer)

  • Is periodontal disease contagious? Is this disease (like severe gingivitis (red and bleeding gums) contagious? Can it be passed from one human being to another by kissing? ...Visitor from CO     (answer)

  • I have a severe case of perdiontal disease. I know the answer is most likely dentures (ick). Can't my teeth be capped? Are there other choices? ...Visitor from Iowa     (answer)

  • Every now and then my gums itch, I have no idea why. Although I am in my late 30's, all my teeth are intact and I do not even have a filling. So as far as I know, I have no dental problem whatsoever,yet my gums itch every now and then. Could it be related to allergy or cold? ...Visitor from CO     (answer)

  • Gum Treatment: How necessary is it to have a gum treatment? The recommended procedure is "perio scale and root planing/qud and antibiotic". Most pocket readings are about 3 with a few at 4. My dentist claims this needs to be done every 4 months. Another dentist I go to claims I don't need any gum treatment at all. So I have two recommendations, which one is correct? The procedure is expensive. My gums are healthy, not red or swollen. My teeth are in good health. ...Visitor from CA     (answer)

  • I had a severe infection in my jaw bone two years ago. My doctor prescribed antibotics. Since then I have pain in my teeth and thus far have lost 5 teeth. My teeth basically begin raising up out of the gum line and then finally work their way out. The teeth and the roots all in one piece. The teeth look healthy as in there are no cavities or discoloration. I am concerned as to whether a dentist could pull all my teeth for dentures. I see no reason to have a partial plate done at this time and then have more teeth fall out later. Have you heard of this happening and what do you recommend having done. ...Visitor from OK     (answer)

  • I have been told I have advanced gum disease. I have a pocket behind one of my top front teeth and my bottom front ones have pulled away from each other and one is loose. It has been recommended that I get the two bottom ones extracted, possibly four, then treatments for the gum disease. They would do what they call a "flipper", then would require dentures. They say there is bone loss and can't do anything else. Is there any alternative to having false teeth or can the bone be rebuilt? ...Visitor from OH     (answer)

  • I was told a couple of years ago that I have mild to moderate periodontal disease on lower left quadrant...more now I'm sure...but my most immediate question is about an area behind a front bottom tooth (just to my right). Down below the teeth, towards the bottom of the jaw bone I guess but not on the floor of the mouth, is a white, round, sort of flat bump on the gum. It hurts and I just noticed it. Though the pain in the general area has been there off and on, more on lately, daily, and instictively massage my chin/jaw area below the spot to try to relieve. I take pain killers with tylenol in them for unrelated problems and can really tell when it wears off. I know there is no substitute for going in, but wondering if the white smooth, flat, sore spot (nothing comes out) could be the prelude to an abcess or is an abcess and if so, how much time do I have before it gets bad to the point of serious complications....not that I'd wait that long. Visitor from CA     (answer)


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