I. Stephen Brown, DDS
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The Perio Group Blog

Symptoms of Gum Recession

December 21st, 2018 by sbrown

Dr.  Stephen Brown Has Received the Advanced Pinhole Clinician Award by Dr. John Chao inventor of the Pinhole Surgical Technique.

This award has been presented to less than 100 dentists worldwide and represents achieving the high level of proficiency in providing the procedure to his patients with gum recession.

Dr. Brown has been an invited lecturer on the subject of PST at dental schools, study clubs and prestigious dental conferences across the USA.

Gums are essential to your dental health. Gums are the layer of pink tissues surrounding your teeth which is a barrier protecting the roots of your teeth. Gum tissue also protects the jaw bone, which connects the teeth to in the jaw.

As we age, gum recession can become more pronounced.  One of the primary symptoms is thermal (Hot-Cold) sensitivity. However, receding gums are preventable with proper periodontal and maintenance therapy.  

If symptoms are caught in time, there are many effective procedures for repositioning the gums to cover areas of root recession and sensitivity.  The Pinhole Surgical Technique is a revolutionary, minimally invasive, and very predictable treatment for gum recession.

Signs and Symptoms of Gum Recession

The most important thing to know is GUM RECESSION IS NOT Normal!  It is a symptom of underlying gum disease!

Before we can actually observe recession, there are ways to tell if your gums are receding. In the very early stages of gum recession it is frequently NOT visible to the naked eye. But there are other ways to tell if your gums are at risk.

  • Tooth Sensitivity- You may begin to notice that your teeth are a sensitive to cold, acidic, and sugary food or drinks. This is usually one of the earliest symptoms. From time to time sensitivity may be a transient finding. However, if you experience a noticeable increase in sensitivity, it’s time to visit our office.
  • Inflamed Gums- You may start to see inflamed, tender and red gums. They can appear or feel swollen and may bleed easier when brushing and flossing. This is another sign that gum recession is starting and if it is ongoing it should be addressed immediately and aggressively. The most modern treatments are minimally invasive.
  • Longer Teeth- As you brush your teeth or look in the mirror, you may notice that your teeth seem longer. If that is the case, it could be an indication of progressive gum recession and definitely represents a reason to come in and have it checked out by a periodontist. It is a significant cosmetic and dental health concern that needs to be addressed. The greater the recession, the more pain and sensitivity you will experience.
  • Discolored Teeth – When the gums recede it is very common for the teeth to look yellow or brown.  These unsightly changes are related to the gum receding down the root away from the pearly white color associated with enamel.
  • Decay of the Roots of Teeth – Teeth with recession are exponentially more likely to develop tooth decay.  This is because the roots of the teeth are made up of cementum, which is far softer and less impervious to the bacteria that cause tooth decay.
  • A Noticeable Notch at The Gum Line- If recession has started there may be a physical way for you to tell at home. Take your finger nail and run it along where your gum meets the tooth. If there has been any recession, then there may very well be a minor notch or ledge that you can feel with your finger nail.  This means that there has been some erosion of the root surface which is not covered by the protective coating of enamel.

Consult with a periodontist who can assist you in changing habits that may be contributing to gum recession. Being consistent with these recommendations, can prevent further progression of gum recession.

Once gum recession has already begun, it is important to address it as quickly as possible to prevent any progressive and potentially irreversible damage. Dr. Brown is experienced in what it takes to keep gums and teeth healthy. Contact us today to schedule an appointment for gum recession treatment.

Dr. Stephen Brown Awarded Advanced Pinhole Clinician Award

August 10th, 2018 by sbrown

Advanced Pinhole ClinicianThe Perio Group is excited to announce that Dr. Brown has been awarded the Advanced Pinhole Clinician Award for completing training with world renowned Dr. John Chao in his ground-breaking Pinhole Surgical Technique for the treatment of gum recession. Due to this exciting new method, patients experiencing gum recession can now be successfully treated without more traditional cutting, or suturing. Instead, the repair is made through small “Pinholes” in the gum, allowing the insertion of specially designed instruments which permit gently correct the gum position with minimal invasiveness, less discomfort and significantly reduced healing time. Only a handful of Periodontists world-wide have earned the designation of Advanced Pinhole Clinician.

The procedures previously used to treat recession required two wounds, one to surgically remove gum tissue from the palate, and another to place the graft over the area of recession. The traditional approach required more invasive surgery and limited the number of teeth that could be treated in one session. If there were multiple areas of recession, several surgical procedures were necessary to correct them. The typical healing time for the previous method was much longer and only small areas could be accomplished. With the minimally-invasive Pinhole Surgical Technique, recession can be corrected on a potentially limitless number of teeth in one session. This method significantly reduces healing time and post-operative discomfort.

Dr. Brown states: “The key to The Pinhole Surgical Technique is that we do not rely upon traditional “cut and sew” gum grafting. The procedure is performed through tiny pinholes with specially designed instruments without scalpels, incisions or stitching. The gum tissue is gently shifted to cover the area of recession with minimal trauma to the adjacent tissue. There are no open wounds and healing is well advanced within twenty-four hours. Patients are amazed by the results and the lack of discomfort.”

For more information, please call our office at (215) 735-3660 or by visiting https://www.theperiogroup.com/

Dr. I. Stephen Brown Awarded Philadelphia Magazine’s Top Dentists 2018

May 31st, 2018 by sbrown

The Perio Group is pleased to announce that Dr. I. Stephen Brown was recognized as one of Philadelphia Magazine’s Top Dentists in 2018. Philadelphia Magazine has other experienced dentists in the area send in letters of recommendation, nominating their dental peers for a job well done throughout the year. This has been the 8th year in a row that Dr. Brown has been awarded this honor from Philadelphia Magazine, and he is pleased and excited to be nominated again for this prestigious award.

This year, Dr. Brown was up against 5,200 votes from 532 dentists throughout the local area. The votes were narrowed down to 20 dentists based on specialty, and chosen by a board of elite dentists. The organization only accepts nominations for dentists who are respected by their peers, and who have devoted a lifetime to care, so the competition was tough! But it was no surprise to us that the talented and caring Dr. Brown was nominated for such an award again.

With expertise in dental implant procedures, Dr. Brown is one of the original leaders in the Periodontal field. In fact, Dr. Brown was one of the first dental professionals in the Philadelphia area to master (and perform) the revolutionary (and minimally invasive) LANAP procedure on the patients that needed an effective treatment for severe gum disease.

Dr. Brown is known throughout Philadelphia for his expertise in the dental field, and was even a featured speaker at the 103rd meeting for The American Academy of Periodontology. He spoke on a variety of topics including the The Future of Lasers in Periodontal Therapy: Science, Hype or Snake Oil?. Because of his dedication in regards to the dental field, Dr. Brown is often involved in dental summits and such in his spare time. When you visit The Perio Group, you can rest assured that you are being treated by someone who actually loves what they do!

If you are looking for gum disease treatment, or just regular and effective dental care, visit The Perio Group in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Perio Group is conveniently located so citizens ranging from Main Line, PA to Wilmington, DE have easy access to some of the very best dental care in the area. Contact us to schedule your consultation appointment today!

Causes of Canker Sores

April 30th, 2018 by sbrown

If you’ve ever had a canker sore you know that they are not fun. In fact they can really ruin your day. They affect how you eat your food, drink liquid, and brush your teeth and they seem like they take forever to get rid of. We wanted to identify some causes of canker sores to possibly help you to avoid them in the future.

Canker sores are those painful ulcers that form on the inside of the mouth, on the tongue or inside the cheek or lips. Sounds painful doesn’t it? Well it is. Medical experts say they don’t know the precise cause but we have some ideas.

Anyone can get a canker sore. However they usually occur more often in teens and young adults and can even be more common in people with underlying medical issues that are known to cause inflammation or weaken the immune system.

Some causes may be viruses, bacterial infections, food allergies, poor nutrition, a weakened immune system, an injury or trauma to the mouth. Hereditary factors may also play a role. May studies have been conducted that have found a link between stress and canker sores. People tend to have outbreaks of canker sores when they experience stress, which can take a toll on the immune system.

Foods have also been linked to canker sores. Avoid trigger foods. Spicy and acidic foods, such as coffee, oranges, grapefruit and pineapple can cause outbreaks or worsen canker sores by aggravating the sensitive tissue inside your mouth. Salty pretzels and chips, nuts, strawberries, chocolate and cheese can also be problematic for some people.

Sometimes canker sores happen whether you have any of the above mentioned factors or not. But these might help you to avoid them:

  • Relax. Lower your stress and anxiety levels
  • Chew carefully: Avoid small mouth injuries
  • Watch what you eat: Avoid spicy and acidic foods
  • Treat it: Canker sore pain relief can be found at a nearby drugstore
  • Proper dental hygiene: Keeping your mouth clean can help prevent bacteria from spreading and irritating an already present canker sore

Although canker sores can be irritating and painful they are relatively harmless. If you tend to get canker sores often it’s time to evaluate what you can change. Maybe you tend to lean toward spicy and acidic foods. Maybe your stress level is higher than normal. Whatever it may be see what you can do to change it. It will be worth the effort. In the mean time, contact Philadelphia Periodontist Dr. I. Stephen Brown of The Perio Group for a periodontal exam in order to identify any underlying oral health issues.


Oral Probiotic Treatment

March 31st, 2018 by sbrown

You may have heard that probiotics are good for your stomach health, but have you heard that probiotics are also good for your oral health? Naturally, the human mouth has a mixture of “good” and “bad” bacteria. Common dental care such as brushing and flossing may not do enough to rid your mouth of the “bad bacteria.” When “bad bacteria” builds up in the mouth, it can create oral health problems. Instead of worrying about the bad bacteria in your mouth,try our innovative oral probiotic treatment!

The community of bacteria in the mouth is called an “oral microbiome” and when this community is disturbed by illness or a change in diet, bad bacteria can run rampant throughout the mouth (and the entire body). When the oral microbiome is disturbed, it can cause gum disease, cavities, and even other issues throughout the entire body.

Fortunately, there is an easy way to restore your oral microbiome, and it’s with oral probiotics! There are two strains of “good bacteria” found in the mouth; the first is L. Plantarum L-137 that promotes healing, and the second is S. salivarius M18 that helps kill off the harmful bacteria. Both healthy bacterias can be easily introduced to the microbiome with a probiotic lozenge taken once daily.

The probiotic works by filling the microbiome with healthy bacteria that kills off the bad and allows the good bacteria to flourish in a healthy growth environment. A healthy oral microbiome can help improve your overall health! If bad bacteria is left untreated, it can disrupt oral and overall health. Over time, bad bacteria will almost certainly result in gum disease. When left untreated, gum disease can create a host of other issues for organ systems like the heart, brain, lungs, kidneys, and bones. Believe it or not, gum disease is even said to be tied to heart disease, strokes, fertility problems and even memory issues like alzheimer’s. When you take charge of your oral health, you are taking charge of your overall health, too!

Many of our patients have benefited from oral probiotics, and if you feel they may be right for you, contact The Perio Group today! Philadelphia Periodontist Dr. I. Stephen Brown and his team of dental professionals are known and respected by their peers and pride themselves on always providing cutting-edge techniques (for example, the revolutionary pinhole surgery technique!) Contact us to make an appointment and see if an oral probiotic is right for you!

Gum Disease Awareness Month

February 20th, 2018 by sbrown

February is Gum Disease Awareness Month. With 85% of adults dealing with some form of gum disease, it is more important than ever to schedule an appointment with Dr. Brown. Gum disease is a subtle condition that many people do not even realize they are dealing with. Do not shrug off gum disease as something that will simply pass. If left untreated, gum disease can worsen and you could end up losing your teeth.

What is Gum Disease?

Gum disease is caused by bacteria and plaque left in the mouth. The bacteria and plaque start to infect the gum tissue, leading to pain and inflammation. Gum disease is one of the leading causes of tooth loss and normally begins without symptoms. Most people do not recognize they have gum disease until it is past the point of quick, at-home treatments.

What Does Gum Disease Look Like?

How do you know if you have gum disease? It normally begins as a slow condition with the following symptoms:

  • Bleeding gums
  • Red or swollen gums
  • Persistent bad breath
  • Gums pulling away from the teeth

Visiting our periodontics office is the best way to diagnose gum disease and to determine the best treatment. Early stages of gum disease can be reversed with in-office treatments like scaling and root planing along with at-home dental care. Severe gum disease cases may require advanced treatments.

Gum Disease Risk Factors

Gum disease is often caused from lifestyle habits and health risk factors including diabetes and pregnancy. If you are involved in lifestyle habits like smoking, it will increase the risk of gum disease. Poor oral health habits are one of the leading causes of gum disease as the plaque and bacteria needs to be removed from the teeth and gums to prevent additional problems.

Treating Gum Disease

The best thing you can do is treat gum disease early to prevent it from worsening. Philadelphia Periodontist Dr. I. Stephen Brown specializes in gum disease treatment. Dr. Brown is certified in LANAP, an advanced treatment for individuals with gum disease.

What is LANAP?

LANAP is a FDA-cleared treatment designed to treat gum disease. It is less painful compared to alternative gum disease treatments including flap surgery. LANAP is scientifically proven to treat gum disease and regenerate new bone growth. LANAP is successful because it targets the source of inflammation without causing damage to the other areas of the mouth. Patients report LANAP to be less painful and provide a faster recovery time. Contact us to schedule an appointment to discuss your gum disease treatment needs.

How Gum Disease Could Lead to Cancer

January 30th, 2018 by sbrown

The mouth is often a window to an individual’s overall health, and a reflection of your well-being. Ignoring the health of your mouth can mask the early signs of more serious diseases. Periodontal (gum) disease has been shown to be associated with many systemic and life-threatening conditions such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease and some lung disorders. Gum disease produces toxins which cause chronic inflammation which negatively effects teeth, gums and supporting jaw bone.

Dangers of Gum Disease

Recent published research has suggested that periodontal (gum) disease may be associated with certain forms of cancer. (click here to review the article)
Timo Sorsa along with a team from the University of Helsinki conducted research in which they investigated the link between periodontitis and the rates of cancer-related mortality. The evidence showed a strong relationship between gum disease and pancreatic cancer.

Importance of Oral Health

We can see by these studies that attention to oral health needs to be a top priority in the preservation of overall health. Prevention of gum disease and aggressive treatment if it is present will contribute to maintaining overall health and protection from related and potentially life-threatening diseases. Preventative dentistry is  important because it can help us to avoid so many future oral and general health problems. If you notice symptoms of gum disease in your mouth or that of a loved one please contact us today. Early intervention can provide peace of mind regarding the preservation of overall health. Philadelphia Periodontist Dr. Stephen Brown and our team can work with you in helping to make you feel comfortable and content and give you some peace of mind about the worries you may have. Gum disease can be prevented and it doesn’t need to be scary or uncomfortable. We look forward to hearing from you.

Periodontal Disease is a Serious Infection

November 30th, 2017 by sbrown

Caring for your teeth and gums is one of the most challenging things pertaining to your oral health. Many people neglect some of the things that could prevent serious infections from occurring. Periodontal disease is commonly referred to as gum disease, and it is a serious infection that could lead to tooth loss. Philadelphia periodontist Dr. Brown has specialized training in periodontal treatments and can aid in reversing gum disease before it gets to the point where tooth extractions are necessary. If you need periodontal disease treatment in Philadelphia, we encourage you to contact our office to schedule a consultation today.

Understanding Periodontal Disease

Periodontal disease refers to a bacterial infection around the gums and bones supporting the teeth. Periodontal disease can impact one tooth, or multiple teeth. Tooth loss is common when periodontal disease spreads to multiple teeth, causing intense pain and serious infections. Periodontal disease begins when there is too much bacteria in the mouth, leading to a buildup of plaque. Plaque causes the gums to become inflamed and you may notice bleeding when you brush your teeth along with pain throughout the day. In the early stages of periodontal disease, most patients do not feel any pain and four out of five people with periodontal disease do not realize they have it.

Signs of Periodontal Disease

How do you know if you are dealing with periodontal disease? There are some early warning signs to watch closely. If the issues below do not start to heal with healthier eating, brushing, and flossing, it is time to call Dr. Brown. Here are some symptoms to watch for:

  • Bleeding gums
  • Red, swollen or tender gums
  • Receding gums or gums that start to pull away from the teeth
  • Loose and separating teeth
  • Consistent sores in the mouth
  • Consistent bad breath
  • Problems with teeth alignment when chewing

The teeth and gums need to be cleaned effectively in order to remove the bacteria from the mouth properly to prevent tooth loss. Failure to treat gum disease can lead to additional health conditions. Early treatment is vital to protect your teeth and gums!

Treating Periodontal Disease

The most important step you can take when trying to prevent periodontal disease is to practice daily brushing and flossing. Reducing the amount of bacteria in the mouth is critical to healthy teeth and gums. We recommend annual dental cleanings to remove plaque around the teeth and below the gums. If you are dealing with an advanced stage of periodontal disease, contact us immediately for effective periodontal disease treatment in Philadelphia.

Dr. Brown on Replacing Missing Teeth with Dental Implants

November 10th, 2017 by sbrown

Nobody should be wearing a loose-fitting denture! In today’s day in age, no one should need to be taking their teeth out of their mouth to clean them when technology like dental implants are available. Missing teeth can cause many people to struggle with self-esteem and confidence because they are embarrassed by their smile. 40 million people wear dentures, which is 15 percent of our population! However, thanks to periodontists like Dr. Brown, you can have a full set of teeth restored.

Once someone loses their teeth, they are out of the dental world and they only visit the dentist every 5-7 years. When a person has missing teeth and do not know dental implants are available, they are simply learning how to adapt without teeth. Many patients visit a periodontist for help with dental implants when they finally become frustrated with dentures and want to look at additional options.

What You Need to Know About Dental Implants

Patients can find out how easy it is to start enjoying life once again the same day. A dental implant is designed to allow a patient the ability to eat the next day! Patients need to schedule a consultation with Dr. Brown to determine if you are a qualified candidate for dental implants. We have technology available to help us build bone where it is needed and technology to have a patient in need of multiple implants be capable of walking out the door the same day with a full set of teeth!

Why You Need to Toss Your Dentures

Dentures have large plastic in them, which can make it difficult to enjoy eating food. Lower dentures are particularly concerning as they often do not make it easy to speak. Many patients dealing with dentures find a unique satisfaction following surgery as they can finally enjoy some of their favorite foods again. In fact, here are some of the foods you can start enjoying once again thanks to dental implants:

  • Corn on the cob
  • Hard candies
  • Nuts
  • Apples
  • Carrots

Dental Implants Improve Your Life

There is no difference in the degree of functionality a patient has with dental implants when compared to traditional teeth. Several patients have undergone this procedure, only to find dental implants have completely changed their lives. Patients have been able to find confidence with new teeth and many have been able to obtain their career or personal goals thanks to dental implants.

Don’t self-diagnose yourself out of the dental implant world! Dr. Brown is skilled in helping patients to finally have a smile they can appreciate and share for years to come. Contact us to schedule a consultation with Philadelphia periodontist Dr. Stephen Brown today!

What Makes Dr. Brown Different From Other Periodontists

September 30th, 2017 by sbrown

Philadelphia Periodontist Dr. I. Stephen BrownWhen you’re searching for a periodontist in Philadelphia, are you looking for someone with experience, community involvement, and distinguished awards? Someone who is passionate about pioneering advancements in periodontics and who actually teaches other periodontists? Dr. I. Stephen Brown is Philadelphia’s leading periodontist and founder of The Perio Group. With his office’s friendly staff, innovative techniques and cutting-edge technology, it’s hard to go wrong when you choose Dr. Brown.

A Pioneer

Dr. Brown has always been a leader in the periodontics arena, starting The Perio Group in order to bring together other periodontists and general dentists for the latest research and techniques, always concerned with providing his patients with the highest-quality care. He was one of the first to use lasers as an alternative to surgery for periodontal disease, a pioneer in using the Pinhole Surgical Technique for receding gums, and he co-founded the Dental Implant Team at Albert Einstein Medical Center.

Education and Experience

Dr. Brown takes great pride in teaching and mentoring others in periodontics. He has put in countless hours as a mentor, spending time as a consultant to the Army Dental Corps, U.S. Dental Corps, and the U.S. Public Health Service. He has also been a Professor and/or lecturer at several universities, a Director of various implant centers, and a diplomate of many boards and congresses. In addition, and as a way to further the concept of a shared learning forum for other periodontists and restorative dentists, he founded the Cosmetic Consortium. As director of the forum, Dr. Brown’s passion for helping to bring the latest advances in dentistry to all members of the community are apparent. Furthermore, he was the first to receive certificates of Adult Orthodontics and Proficiency in Periodontics; a rare double specialty!

Media Attention

Since 2011, Dr. Brown has been featured in publications for his speaking assignments at the Cosmetic Consortium Club, the Dental Study Club, The College of Physicians of Philadelphia, DENTSPLY’S International Implant Congress in Barcelona, Spain, and has been selected as a Top Periodontist by Top3Dentists and Philadelphia Magazine.
He has written numerous articles for professional journals and is esteemed by his peers for his passion, pioneering spirit, and dedication to the field of periodontics.

If you’re looking for who many consider to be the best periodontist in Philadelphia, schedule an appointment with Dr. Brown today. You can be certain you’re in the best hands for any perio-related treatments.