Dr. John Tortora offers treatment for periodontal disease in Brick, New Jersey, to help you manage the harmful bacteria in your mouth and begin regaining good oral health. For more information about periodontal disease treatment and prevention, and to schedule your consultation with our dentist, call us today at 732-295-1616.


Is there a relationship between stress, periodontal disease, and holistic health?
There is indeed a relationship. As stress increases so does the likelihood for continuing breakdown of the bone that supports the teeth. That is, an increase in the severity of periodontitis.

The changes in the central nervous system that come with stress, affect the pituitary gland and it in turn affects the adrenal glands. The release of stress hormones from the adrenal can reduce or modify the immune system and inflammation to increase gum disease activity.

Everyday stresses such as financial stress have been studied and those under this type of stress had more gum attachment loss and supporting bone loss than those that did not. But those people who had appropriate coping behavior to the stress, did not have these ill effects. In other words, if we can find healthy ways to cope with every day stresses, our periodontal health can remain intact. Therefore, things like physical exercise, self-relaxation, a positive attitude, meditation, and spiritual development will help save our teeth as well as our mental emotional health.

What are the risk factors? Who develops periodontal disease?
One of the most significant risk factors for severe periodontal disease is smoking and stress. It increases the severity of the disease, the number of teeth lost and the chance of failure of all treatments. There are genetic susceptibility factors that help to explain why some people do or do not develop periodontal disease.  Those people who are under long term stress will also have more bone and tooth loss. Poor oral hygiene and the lack of routine cleanings and periodontal exams leads to breakdown and tooth loss as well.

How can I have severe periodontal disease if my teeth and gums don’t hurt me?
Periodontal disease is a silent infection, it can progress without any warning signs, symptoms, or pain. Bleeding gums for example may be a sign of a simple gingivitis (gum infection) or a severe periodontitis (bone infection with loss of supporting bone). In many cases the first sign of a problem may be looseness or drifting teeth. At this later stage the teeth may be nearly hopeless to save.

I get dental checkups every 6 months. Why do I have periodontal disease?
Routine examinations and even X-rays are not enough to detect the presence of gum disease. Only through a comprehensive periodontal evaluation with pocket measurements on all teeth can any existing damage or infection be uncovered.

Can bacterial plaque that accumulates under the gum case disease more serious that periodontal disease and tooth loss?
There is mounting evidence that bacterial gum infection may contribute to heart disease, diabetes, stroke, and premature births to mothers with gum disease. The fact is that the bacteria themselves and inflammatory toxins can easily enter the bloodstream, lodging in blood vessels and possibly other organs. While the mechanisms of these changes are not fully understood, research continues to determine how strong the relationship is to these diseases. Dr. Mayo, the founder of the Mayo Clinic once stated that, “Daily plaque control can add ten years to your life.” He may be right, especially when regular professional care is added to it.

If you would like to learn more about periodontal disease prevention in Brick, New Jersey, please contact our holistic dentist at 732-295-1616 today.


Is there a way to test for periodontal disease?
The practice of John J. Tortora, DDS is pleased to announce the availability of two periodontal disease tests: MyPerioPath® and MyPerioID®.

These tests are important, as periodontal disease is fairly common and may lead to tooth loss if not successfully treated. Some people are at higher risk of having or developing periodontal disease. These include those who smoke and those with other conditions such as obesity, diabetes, and heart disease. People with certain genetic characteristics might also be at higher risk. Certain bacteria in the mouth can cause inflammation of the gums. This is why periodontal disease is commonly referred to as gum disease. The gum can pull away from the teeth, forming pockets in which bacteria can grow and cause further damage, leading to tooth loss.

Diagnosis and treatment is important for your overall health and well-being. The two tests newly available at our office can help optimize treatment. The MyPerioPath test finds out which bacteria are triggering the periodontal disease. The MyPerioID test can identifies if a patient has changes in his or her DNA that might mean he or she is at greater risk of more serious disease. The information provided by these two tests helps our dentist develop a treatment plan that is right for each patient. These tests are performed using a saliva sample, which is easy and fast to collect. The patient simply swishes a sterile saline solution in his/her mouth and spits it into a tube. The sample is then sent to a lab, where the test is performed. Test results are returned to our office for evaluation.

For more information visit the Oral DNA Testing page on our website. If you have further questions about periodontal disease prevention or treatment, or about either of our salivary diagnostic tests, please don’t hesitate to give our office a call.

What is non-surgical periodontal treatment?
A procedure called Scaling and Root Planing represents almost all non-surgical care. It consists of being numbed for comfort and having fine instruments are placed under the gumline in diseased pockets. The roots adjacent to the gums are cleaned and planed of bacteria, calculus (hard deposit), and cementum (a coating on the root that is infected). This produces a healthy environment for the gum, allowing healing and pocket shrinkage.

What is surgical periodontal treatment?
In areas where the pockets are very deep (6-12mm) a surgical approach must be considered. The main reason for this is that non-surgical techniques cannot reach into the full depth of the pocket. Thus the root remains infected at the deepest part of the pocket; allowing disease progression to continue and providing no resolution of pockets. So, by removing some of the gum tissue and repositioning the remaining gum away from root and bone, proper and thorough debridement of infected tissue and complete planing of the roots is accomplished. Added benefits are larger pocket reductions and the ability to address boney defects.

If you would like to know more about periodontal disease treatment in Brick, New Jersey, please contact our holistic dentist at 732-295-1616 today.