How Do You Know if You’re at Risk for Gum Disease?
The most common signs of periodontal disease include gums that bleed when you brush or floss, general tenderness or puffiness, bad breath and loose feeling teeth. But sometimes, periodontal disease leaves your teeth vulnerable to decay, abscesses and bone loss without any obvious signs. The best way to keep your gums healthy—and to diagnose and treat gum disease—is to visit your dentist at least twice yearly for a dental exam and teeth cleaning by a qualified dental hygienist.
A Zero Tolerance Policy for Bleeding Gums: Here’s Why
“At Dental Design Studio, we have zero tolerance for bleeding gums,” says Dr. Whalen. “We address periodontal disease as a systemic issue.”
This focus is rooted in the risks associated with unchecked periodontal disease. Beyond problems within your mouth, recent studies have linked gum disease to an increased risk of:
• heart disease
• rheumatoid arthritis
• certain cancers, including pancreatic cancer
• complications in controlling diabetes’ blood sugar levels
• low birth-weight babies and premature births.
“The benefits of periodontal health extend well beyond helping to prevent bone loss in the mouth,” Dr. Whalen says.
An Experienced Team Offering Professional, Individualized Care
Dr. Whalen has practiced dentistry for more than 25 years, the past 12 of which have been in his Poughkeepsie office. He has been named a Top Doctor in the Hudson Valley each year since 2007 and is a member of several renowned Dental Associations, including International Association of Physiologic Aesthetics, International Congress of Oral Implantology and the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry.
His experienced team of dental hygienists are among a select number of professionals who are laser-certified by The Academy of Laser Dentistry.
Personalized oral care is central to all services provided at Dental Design Studio, and Dr. Whalen and his team offer comprehensive dental care to help keep your teeth and gums healthy. “Everything we do here is individualized, according to our patients’ needs,” he explains. “Oral DNA testing of saliva, for instance, allows us to more specifically identify the bacteria in your mouth that is causing or aggravating infections, and we can put you on a personalized antibiotic regimen. For those patients with sensitive teeth and gums, we can use numbing rinses and anesthesia as needed too.”
Periodontal Therapy Services
Periodontal therapy is a cornerstone of the comfortable, effective care that patients receive. This therapeutic care includes four main cleaning techniques and treatments.
• Soft Tissue Diode Laser – this gentle laser technique removes diseased gum tissue and cleans pockets of bacteria to allow your gums to heal and reattach to the tooth.
• Ultrasonic Scalers – two advanced scaling tools (the Cavitron and/or the Piezo) use high frequency ultrasonic waves to clean teeth and remove tartar both above and below the gum line. This technique is so gentle that it may be used multiple times without the need for anesthetic, offering a safe, effective and painless alternative to traditional teeth cleaning methods.
• Arrestin – this topical antibiotic is placed under gum tissue to help fight off bacteria and promote healing in the weeks following treatment.
• Perio Protect – following a thorough periodontal cleaning, patients wear this innovative custom-made tray over their teeth at night. It fits comfortably, like a mouth guard, and uses a special bacteria-killing solution to continue the fight against periodontal disease while you sleep.
“Patients come every three, four or six months for exams and treatments, depending on their needs. But what you do at home between visits is the most important part of treatment,” says Dr. Whalen. “We urge our patients to brush and floss regularly to help maintain healthy gums and teeth. Water-flossers (such as Waterpik) are also an excellent modality for maintaining a healthy mouth.”
A Full Range of State-of-the-Art Services
In addition to their focus on periodontal health, Dental Design Studios offers comprehensive dentistry, including:
• Restorative dentistry for comfort, function and form
• Cosmetic dentistry to improve your smile
• TMJ treatments to return your jaw to comfort and eliminate pain
• Implant dentistry to replace missing teeth
• Metal-free dentistry without mercury fillings to restore the health, strength and appearance of your teeth
• Oral sedation to reduce anxiety
• Advanced dental technology for earlier diagnosis, more conservative treatment and comfortable exams and cleanings.