Our Periodontal Blog
By Alan M. Timko, DMD
February 09, 2016
Category: Dental Procedures

Find out if a periodontist is the right dental expert to treat your oral health issues.

It can be difficult to know what medical expert to turn to when it comes to certain health issues. Want to know when you should call our periodontistPittsburgh, PA periodontist, Dr. Alan M. Timko, for care and what he can do for your smile? Learn more about the purpose of a periodontist and how we can benefit you.

What is a periodontist?

Your periodontist Dr. Timko in Pittsburgh specializes in preventing, diagnosing, and managing conditions that affect the soft tissue of the mouth. A periodontist is different from a regular dentist because they go through several more years of training. This is to provide our patients with the best periodontal disease treatments and to replace missing teeth by surgically placing dental implants.

When should I see a periodontist?

It can be challenging to know whether your general dentist or a specialist like a periodontist is the best person to see for a job. While your regular dentist may refer you to us, if you are experiencing any gum issues, a referral isn’t always necessary.

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, it’s time to schedule an appointment with your periodontal expert in Pittsburgh right away:

  • Bleeding gums while brushing or eating: If you are experiencing unexplained bleeding during the day this could be a big indicator that you have gum disease.
  • Loose teeth or receding gums: If your teeth look a bit longer than usual this could be due to gum recession, which often signifies gum disease. One of the classic issues of gum disease is gum recession and bone loss. Over time, this can cause the gums to pull away from the teeth, which causes them to become loose.
  • Halitosis: If you are dealing with chronically bad breath this offensive symptom could just be warning you that you have gum disease. This is particularly true if you find yourself dealing with bad breath despite maintaining a good oral care routine.

Whether you have already been diagnosed with gum disease or you are dealing with bleeding gums and other symptoms of gum disease, turn to Dr. Alan M. Timko, our periodontal expert in Pittsburgh, PA, to get the treatment you need to maintain healthy gums for life.

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!

By Office of Dr. Alan M. Timko
December 15, 2015
Category: Uncategorized
Tags: Untagged

If you’ve lost natural teeth due to injury or decay, dental implants are the next best thing. More than just a cosmetically pleasing option, dental implants provide oral health benefits that can’t be matched by other restorative procedures.dental implants

Dental implants are anchored directly in your jaw to provide the most stable and permanent foundation for replacement teeth. If you're looking for a dental implant specialist in Pittsburgh, contact Dr. Timko’s office at (412) 364-6777 today!

Health Benefits of Dental Implants

Prevent loss of bone tissue: This is perhaps the most significant benefit of dental implants. When your natural teeth are missing, the jawbone that once supported them begins to deteriorate, causing the lips and cheeks to appear sunken. Conventional dentures and bridges inevitably lead to bone loss, since they are not actually connected to the jaw. Implants stimulate the jaw bones in the same way as natural teeth, ensuring that your bones stay strong and healthy.

Improve your bite and ability to chew: Other restorative treatments can be less stable, making it difficult to chew and to keep the structures aligned. This puts more pressure on the surrounding teeth, contributing to damage, decay, and jaw pain. Because dental implants are anchored to your jaw, they will not shift out of place over time - allowing you to chew all foods confidently.

Support health of surrounding teeth: Dental implants do not require any reshaping or preparation of the surrounding teeth, so the procedure creates minimal risk for the healthy teeth in your mouth. They also prevent the rest of your teeth from shifting into the open space, keeping your bite mechanically and cosmetically aligned.

Avoid Cavities: For teeth that have been restored with implants, you’ll never have to worry about fillings or root canals! However, you'll still have to keep up on your daily oral health routine and your regular dental cleanings. This is essential to help you maintain healthy gums and prevent decay in your natural teeth.

Dental Implants in Pittsburgh

As a board-certified periodontist, Dr. Timko specializes in treating the bones and tissues surrounding the teeth and routinely performs dental implants for Pittsburgh-area patients. To find out if dental implants are the right choice for you, request your appointment now or call (412) 364-6777.

By Alan M Timko, DMD
July 24, 2015
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: Receding Gums  

Receding gums are most commonly associated with periodontal disease, an advanced form of gum disease. Gum disease affects nearly half of all adult Americans between the ages of 30-65, and unfortunately it often goes untreated until more serious symptoms Receding Gumssurface. Learn what your Pittsburgh, PA periodontist Dr. Alan M. Timko can do to treat, heal and restore receding gums.

What Are Receding Gums?
When the gums recede, they pull back away from the teeth. Over time they can pull back to the point where the roots of the teeth are exposed. Pockets develop around the tooth that become a breeding ground for bad bacteria. The more the gums recede without treatment, the higher the chance of tooth loss and other complications. Receding gums can also affect the appearance of the teeth and make patients more self-conscious about smiling.

Your Gums and Dental Health
When considering their dental health, many people assume that it only involves taking care of the teeth. However, failing to properly care for your gums can be even more problematic over time. Periodontal disease is a serious dental condition that can affect both your oral and overall health. It is an infection of the gums that can spread if it isn't controlled and properly treated by your Pittsburgh, PA periodontist. 

Receding Gums Treatment 
The initial treatment for receding gums due to periodontal disease is a thorough cleaning called scaling and root planing. Plaque containing bad bacteria is removed from along the gumline to give gum tissue a chance to regenerate. Taking antibiotics also helps the healing process. If that doesn’t work, gum surgery may be necessary to restore the gums to good health.

Talk to a Qualified Periodontist
The effects of receding gums can be reversed with periodontal treatment by Dr. Alan M. Timko. He has been practicing dentistry in Western Pennsylvania since 1958. Call his Pittsburgh, PA office at (412) 364-6777 to schedule a consultation if you’re concerned with the looks of your gums.

By Office of Dr. Alan M. Timko
May 15, 2015
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: Oral Brush Biopsy  

Oral Brush BiopsyOral cancers are among the deadliest affecting Americans today. These cancers often go undetected in the early stages when they are most likely to respond to treatment. But Pittsburgh dental patients now have a unique option which may allow your periodontist to catch early signs of oral cancer.

What is Oral Brush Biopsy?

Some dentists in the industry call the oral brush biopsy “the pap smear for oral cancer.” When your dentist identifies lesions or other spots in your mouth, they can use the oral brush biopsy to pick up those cells for testing. The brush painlessly lifts the cells from the area without the need for scalpels or cuts to the mouth. Your Pittsburgh periodontist will then place the cells on a slide and send them to a laboratory for results.

How Accurate is Oral Brush Biopsy?

When subjected to rigorous clinical trials, the oral brush biopsy has been shown to be very effective in identifying cancerous or pre-cancerous cells. The samples sent to the laboratory for testing are analyzed by a high-speed computer system. You may also receive a scalpel biopsy for a definitive diagnosis.

Who Needs an Oral Brush Biopsy?

If your periodontist notices any lesions or concerning white spots in your mouth, they may recommend a biopsy to detect cancerous or pre-cancerous cells. The oral brush biopsy causes no pain, requires no anesthesia, and involves very little bleeding. Ask your periodontist if an oral brush biopsy is the right method of biopsy for you.

The Benefits of Oral Brush Biopsy

  • Quick and easy for your dentist to perform
  • Samples a larger area than scalpel biopsy
  • Requires no medication or anesthesia

If you are concerned about lesions or bumps in your mouth, see your periodontist for an evaluation. Dr. Alan M. Timko of Pittsburgh, PA offers oral brush biopsy for your comfort and convenience. Schedule an appointment for your biopsy today by calling (412) 364-6777.

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