What is Periodontal Disease?
Periodontal diseases (gingivits and periodontitis) are bacterial infections which attack and destroy the tissues, gums and supporting bones that hold our teeth in place. Early indicators of periodontal disease may include redness, swelling and bleeding of the tissues and gums that surround the teeth. These symptoms are often painless, and therefore may go untreated for long periods of time. However, the microrganisms that have attacked the gums may eventually cause bone loss and loosening of teeth, indicating symptoms of a much more serious periodontal problem.
Plaque, a sticky film which adheres to teeth can harden at the gumline, and quickly develop into calculus or tartar. Thoroughly brushing your teeth after meals, along with daily flossing helps to prevent tartar buildup and gingivitis (the most mild form of periodontal disease.) However, plaque usually reforms in less than 24 hours. If tartar buildup is not professionally removed, it can lead to more serious periodontal disease. Effective dental hygiene combined with professional cleanings and routine dental check-ups every six months are proven methods in helping to prevent or minimize gingivitis and other periodontal diseases1.
Who is a Periodontist?
Periodontists are highly trained dentists who specialize in the prevention, diagnosis. and treatment of periodontal diseases. They have received three extensive years of education in addition to dental school, and are highly skilled in treating oral inflammation, the placement and maintenance of dental implants, and surgical solutions for eradicating periodontal diseases as well as cosmetic purposes2.
Symptoms of Periodontal Disease
- Loosened teeth
- Red and tender gums and surrounding teeth
- Gums that bleed easily
- Swollen gums
- Receding gums, or teeth which appear longer than usual
- Persistent halitosis/bad breath
- Tooth pain, especially during biting and chewing
Primary Risk Factors for Periodontal Disease
The causes and risk factors for periodontal diseases are wide ranging. Some of the more common risk factors include3:
- Smoking and tobacco use
- Poor oral hygiene
- Substance abuse
- Older age
- Poor nutrition
- Certain medications
- Certain illnesses and/or a compromised immune system
Furthermore, our teeth and oral tissue health are critical factors in our overall health. Research indicates that dental bacteria associated with periodontitis is considered a risk factor for coronary heart disease and stroke, in addition to other serious health concerns4.
Treatment of Periodontal Disease
There are a number of treatments for periodontal disease, and if caught early, the damage can be successfully reversed. The most common treatments are5:
- Special cleanings called “scaling and root planing”
- Medications prescribed by your dentist
- Splints or bite guards to stabilize loose teeth or aid in regeneration of tissue
- Soft tissue graft to cover roots and/or develop gum tissue
- Surgery to remove periodontal pockets
- Surgery to increase lost bone support
- Surgery to reshape or rebuild bones
- Remove and replace bad teeth with dental implants
Periodontist – Linda R Suralie, DDS
6100 Westchester Park Dr., College Park, MD. 20740
For over 30 years, Linda R Suralie, DDS has been treating periodontal patients from the Metro Washington DC area, Maryland, Southern New Jersey and the greater Philadelphia area. A native of Trinidad, West Indies, she graduated from Howard University Dental School in 1984, where she earned her Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS) degree. After obtaining her DDS degree, Dr. Suralie attended Temple University, specializing in Periodontics.
7156 Stenton Ave Philadelphia, PA 19150
Dr. Suralie is committed to helping people obtain and maintain a healthy smile, and routinely updates her extensive knowledge and skills through continuing education. She is highly experienced in treating all stages of periodontal disease, including deep cleanings, implants and surgical procedures. Dr. Suralie and the other specialists at Dr. Steven L. Rattner DDS PA & Associates use the latest technological advances and products in their dentistry.
When she is not helping improve smiles and the periodontal health of her patients, Dr. Suralie likes to be referred to as just Linda; she enjoys jogging, dance and travelling. As an avid dancer, she participates in several events annually, including Disco America, and the Triple Threat Dance competitions (including the hustle, west coast swing, and salsa.) A skilled performer, Linda has received multiple awards throughout her years of ballroom dance competition.
Linda is also someone who gives back. She gets involved in causes like Sponsor Seniors, Inc. and other non-profit 501(c)3 organizations. Making a difference in people’s lives from Pennsylvania to Maryland and beyond. Linda loves to travel and has travelled abroad on many trips. She takes care of her mother and genuinely cares about others. She is accepting new patients in the Mt Airy/Philadelphia office.
1. Diseases and Conditions-Periodontitis. Retrieved Oct. 27, 2015 from the Mayo Clinic website.
2. What is a Periodontist? Retrieved Oct. 28, 2015 from the American Academy of Periodontology website.
3 Diseases and Conditions-Periodontitis. Retrieved Oct. 27, 2015 from the Mayo Clinic website.
4. Gum Disease and Heart Disease. Retrieved Oct. 28, 2015 from the American Academy of Periodontology website. https://www.perio.org/consumer/heart_disease
5. For the Dental Patient – Treating Periodontal Disease. Retrieved Oct. 28, 2015 from the Journal of the American Dental Association (JADA), Vol. 136, January 2005