Our Periodontal Blog

Posts for tag: Gum Disease

By Alan M. Timko, DMD
October 07, 2016
Category: Dental Procedures

Find out how we can manage your gum disease with less invasive techniques.

When you find out you have gum disease, it can feel rather defeating. Fortunately, our Pittsburgh, PA periodontist, Dr. Alan Timko, also gum diseaseoffers non-invasive treatments for controlling your gum disease without the need for surgery. Find out more about this non-surgical gum disease treatment and whether it’s right for you.

While surgery is most often recommended for patients with severe forms of gum disease, if you are dealing with only mild to moderate forms then non-surgical treatments may also be available to you. One of the most common treatment options for treating gum disease in Pittsburgh is scaling and root planing.

While scaling and root planing may just seem like a regular dental cleaning, it’s a lot more in depth than that. A regular dental cleaning that you get every six months only cleans the part of your teeth that you are able to see when you smile. However, if you have gum disease, issues such as tartar, plaque and bacteria are lurking under the gums where you can’t see it. When you get scaling and root planing we will use both manual and ultrasonic instruments to remove tartar and plaque buildup from teeth and under the gums.

Once the teeth have been thoroughly cleaned, we will start on the gums and the tooth roots. Since gum disease causes infected pockets within the gums we will want to remove plaque and tartar from these areas, as well as clean the tooth roots and smooth down the root surface to prevent bacteria from reattaching to this area. This nonsurgical treatment is the only way to remove buildup and bacteria from tooth roots.

For many people in the early stages of gum disease, scaling and root planing is an amazing way to reverse the effects of this chronic disorder and improve the health of the gums. Of course, once scaling and root planing is finished it doesn’t mean your dental treatment in Pittsburgh is over. While most people won’t need additional scaling and root planing treatments they will need to come into our office more often for maintenance cleanings to make sure that everything is still looking and feeling its best.

Do you have questions about scaling and root planing? Ready to find out if it could treat your gum disease and get rid of your symptoms? If so, then it’s time you called our Pittsburgh, PA periodontal office to schedule an appointment with us. Your gums deserve only the best care.

By Alan M. Timko, DMD
June 03, 2016
Category: Oral Health
Tags: Gum Disease  


Your Pittsburgh, PA periodontist restores infected and receding gum tissue to full health. Possessing advanced training in periodontics, Dr. Alan Timko dedicates his practice to the many people who suffer from periodontal (gum) disease and related oral health issues and treatments. He and his professional staff are pleased to offer patients state-of-the-art periodontal surgeries not widely available through out the United States.

Gum Disease Signs and Effects

Unfortunately, gum disease, depending on its severity, can wreak havoc on oral health and even overall health. Someone with mild gingivitis to advanced periodontitis may exhibit symptoms such as:

  • gum redness, swelling, tenderness and bleeding
  • bad breath
  • tooth loosening and loss
  • gum recession
  • jaw bone loss

Concerning systemic health, individuals with periodontal problems often experience what physicians call co-morbidity. In other words, their what is happening in the mouth seems to affect the rest of the body with:

  • osteoporosis
  • arthritis
  • respiratory diseases
  • dementia and Alzheimer's disease
  • heart attack
  • stroke
  • hypertension
  • low birth weight babies
  • pregnancy complications

Standard Treatments and Innovations in Pittsburgh

Hand scaling and root planing to remove plaque and tartar from below the gum line frequently takes care of milder forms of gum disease. Some dentists also instill antimicrobial medications into gum pockets to quell infection and encourage re-attachment of gums to root surfaces.

Skilled, board-certified periodontists, however, such as Dr. Timko, offer new methods of handling periodontitis. One such treatment is LANAP surgery. LANAP stands for Laser Assisted New Attachment Procedure. Its objective is to debride and heal areas of gum infection and recession.

Instead of old-fashioned cutting, grafting and suturing, LANAP uses an FDA-approved YAG laser instrument to remove infected tissue, eliminate plaque and tartar and seal gum tissue back on root surfaces. This procedure is fast, comfortable and involves no scalpels or suturing. Patients recover right away.

Another advancement in periodontics is the Chao Pinhole Surgical Technique. This in-office surgery uses no stitches or scalpels, but instead uses a special, tiny instrument to move healthy gum tissue over areas of recession. There's little bleeding, and natural collagen anchors the transplanted gum tissue in place.

Prognosis for healthier, fuller gums is very good after these periodontic procedures in Pittsburgh and across the country. Dr. Timko always advises periodic exams and cleanings plus good brushing and flossing at home to keep gums strong and healthy.

Your Gums and You

The American Dental Association asserts that gum disease is one of the major causes of tooth loss among adults in the US. Could you be one of them? If you suspect gingivitis or periodontitis, contact Dr. Timko today to arrange a personal consultation. Call the office in Pittsburgh, PA at (412) 364-6777 today!

By Alan M. Timko, DMD
December 15, 2015
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: Gum Disease  

Gum disease can be something that many people ignore. It's not particularly painful and its effects aren't immediate. However, it can cause problems for the entire body if it goes unchecked. Dr. Alan Timko, your Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania dentist has experience diagnosing and treating gum disease and offers some information about its effects here.Gum Disease

The gist of gingiva

Your teeth need healthy gums in order to function properly. The gum tissue, also called gingiva, holds the teeth in place in the jawbone and forms a tight seal around the roots of the teeth to protect them from decay. Healthy gums fit smoothly and tightly over the teeth, are "coral pink" in color and have a texture and firmness similar to an orange peel.

Misfortunes for your mouth

Unhealthy gums, on the other hand, are often reddened and swollen. Dr. Timko often has Pittsburgh patients with gum disease who complain about their gums bleeding easily. Diseased gums also appear "puffy" on their edges from inflammation and they will eventually recede away from the teeth. If unhealthy gums go untreated, they can quickly become a systemic problem. The constant exposure to bacterial infection can spread to the jawbone, which can deteriorate its structure and lead to tooth loss. Studies have also shown that the steady stream of bacteria can also have an effect on the heart.

Guard your gums

When your Pittsburgh dentist asks how often you floss, it isn't to put you on the spot. Flossing helps keep the bacteria that cause gum disease at bay by breaking up the colonies that form between the teeth. Brushing with a soft-bristled toothbrush at least twice a day is also part of a good dental hygiene regimen.

Gum disease is treatable, but it is an ongoing process that requires your cooperation and responsibility. To schedule an evaluation for gum disease with Dr. Alan Timko in Pittsburgh, contact our office at (412) 364-6777 today!