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Periodontics/Gum Disease Question



Over the last 6-7 years I have noticed my gums receding
and a yellowing of my teeth especially at the gumline with some
brown/black raised areas.  I have a few questions about this
and since I know it is hard to answer these questions online I
have provided xrays and a picture of my teeth.
    I have been to three dentists and they have all given
me very different opinions.  
The first dentist said it was probably stain on my teeth.  The second dentist
said there was tartar on my teeth but didn't say exactly where and used the periodontal
probe and found several 3's, 4's a few 5's a 6 and 7 or two and one 8 or 9.
So I was supposed to go for two scaling and root planing appointments but didn't
because of fears about the procedure so I got a second opinion.  The xrays are from his office.
The third dentist also said I had gum disease and tartar on my teeth but again
didn't say where.  She probed and found numerous 3's, some 4s, 2 or 3 5's and no
6's or 7's.  She said because there was currently no bleeding on probing or when
I brushed and flossed  ( several years ago there was some during brushing and
flossing ) she would recommend maybe scaling and root planing on a few teeth and
regular prophylaxis appointments for the rest but she would need to see my xrays
to be sure.  I have been for one prophylaxis appointment there and they cleaned
some tartar off of my teeth but not the yellow areas at my
gumline or on the rest of my teeth.  I bled some for a few weeks afterwards.
    Because of the different opinions I am a little confused.  So to try
to clear it up some I have a few questions that I hope you can answer.

Do you see any problems in the xrays I have provided?  
Do you think the yellow areas on my teeth in the picture I
provided could be

Can Tartar appear in a thin layer?  
I ask because all pictures
I can find on the internet are of a fairly thick layer.
The yellow areas on my teeth appear flat or almost flat with the tooth
and are slightly rough when I scratch it with my fingernail.
I also have a few raised brown or black areas.

Thanks for your time,

Dear Adam,

A periodontal diagnosis is made after reviewing information on both, x-ray and periodontal charting.

Tarter can appear as a thin layer.   The yellow area by the gum line could be tartar or simply the color of your tooth/roots.



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John Kong, DDS,


I am a board-certified periodontist and an expert on dental implants. I am currently in private practice at Better Living through Dentistry. I can answer questions related to the treatment of periodontitis (gum disease), dental implants, sinus lifts, bone grafts, gum grafts, surgical exposure of teeth, and minor orthodontics.


I have been practicing periodontics and placing dental implants since 2006 on the Upper West Side, Manhattan, NY and in Forest Hills, Queens, NY at Better Living through Dentistry. I am currently an attending and Chief of Implantology at Flushing Hospital Medical Center.

American Board of Periodontology, American Academy of Periodontics, American Dental Association, New York State Dental Association

Wesleyan University / Amherst College, BA; SUNY Stony Brook Dental School, DDS; University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, Certificate in Periodontics; New York University, 1-year program in Full-Mouth Reconstruction; Certified in Invisalign

Awards and Honors
Northeast Society of Periodontists Achievement Award

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