Periodontal disease is a bacterial infection in the gums and jawbone. It’s caused by plaque build-up and can lead to gum inflammation, bleeding gums, and loosening of the teeth. Periodontal disease is a progressive condition, meaning it will only get worse if left untreated.
What are the causes of periodontal disease?
Periodontal disease is caused by plaque build-up around and below the gum line. Plaque is a sticky film made of bacteria, food debris, and saliva.
When plaque is not removed, it hardens into tartar, which is impossible to remove at home. When plaque and tartar accumulate, they lead to serious dental problems.
What are the symptoms of periodontal disease?
Periodontal disease can cause some very painful symptoms.
You may experience the following symptoms:
- Bleeding gums
- Receding gums
- Swollen gums
- Tender gums
- Red gums
- Bad breath
- Gum recession
- Loose teeth
- Tooth pain
- Chronic bad breath
How is periodontal disease diagnosed?
At your appointment, we can diagnose periodontal disease based on your symptoms, risk factors, and the results of your physical exam. We may also take X-rays to look for bone loss or gum recession.
What are the treatment options for periodontal disease?
Scaling and root planing
Scaling and root planing, also known as deep cleaning, removes bacteria and plaque from beneath the gums. It can also help to break up the toxins that build up on the roots of the teeth.
Flap surgery is a surgical method used to treat periodontal disease. During this procedure, the dentist will fold back the gums and gently remove tartar, plaque, and bacteria. After the gums have been thoroughly cleaned, the gums will be repositioned.
When a tooth is damaged by decay or injury, dentists will often perform a bone graft. The graft helps preserve or restore the damaged bone.
Guided tissue regeneration
Guided tissue regeneration is a procedure that restores health to a damaged periodontal (gum) tissue. The procedure is often recommended after gum disease treatment, such as a deep cleaning or scaling and root planing to treat gum recession. It uses the body’s own natural ability to heal itself.
During the procedure, a membrane is placed over the area of gum recession. This membrane covers the roots and bone graft material. The membrane keeps the tissue in place and aids in tissue regeneration. Over time, your body will replace the membrane with healthy tissue. In addition to restoring gum tissue, it can also restore bone support.
Unlike the traditional cut and stitch method of treating periodontal disease, laser dentistry focuses on eliminating bacteria from the gums. Lasers are also used to heal gum tissue and encourage new growth. There is no cutting involved, which means less recovery time, less discomfort, and fewer side effects.
Gum surgery (pocket reduction surgery)
Scaling and root planing is a common treatment for periodontal disease. But, if gum disease has progressed, pocket reduction surgery may be recommended. This is a more detailed procedure where tartar, plaque, and bacteria are removed from deep periodontal pockets.
How can I prevent periodontal disease?
The best way to fight periodontal disease is by practicing good oral hygiene. This includes brushing your teeth twice a day, flossing once a day, and using mouthwash. If you wear braces, be sure to brush and floss your teeth after every meal and snack.
You also need to visit the dentist for regular check-ups. Your dentist can help stop periodontal disease before it becomes serious.
Contact Elan Dentistry for the best dental care. To book an appointment, call (714) 364-8181 or visit us at 1030 West Imperial Hwy, La Habra 90631.