Many of our patients have gum disease and do not know it. This is because the disease has nearly no symptoms in its earliest stages. The indicators of very early gum disease are subtle and are easy to overlook.
Gum disease (also called gingivitis in early stages and periodontitis in advanced stages) has several symptoms during the early phases that our dentist looks for during routine exams. The most common are swelling and redness of the gums as well as bleeding gums when brushing or flossing. These symptoms occur because plaque builds up along the gum line without careful dental hygiene.
If gum disease progresses, bacteria in the plaque will harden to form tartar which further irritates the gums. Bacteria will also form pockets if infection at the gum line, which leads to receding gums, exposed roots, significant infection, tooth loss, and bone loss.
The sooner our periodontist in Torrance treats your gum disease, the easier the treatment. There are two types of treatment for gum disease non-surgical and surgical intervention.
NON-SURGICAL TREATMENTS- These will help if you are in the earliest stages of gum disease.
• Dental Cleaning- A professional deep cleaning of your teeth and gums is sometimes enough to stop gum disease before it forms a stronghold. This is also one of the best preventatives to keep you safe from gum disease.
• Scaling and root planning- Our dentist uses this treatment to scrape away hardened tartar and plaque at and below the gum line. Once the bacteria is gone, your gum will reattach and cover any exposed roots.
SURGICAL TREATMENTS- Our dentist uses surgical techniques for advanced cases of gum disease.
• Flap surgery- You receive a local anesthetic to numb the area before our periodontist loosens your gum, clears all of the infection, and re-attaches your gum over the root of your tooth.
• Bone grafts- Some patients require a more significant form of anesthesia for this procedure. Our dentist removes pieces of bone from your jaw and uses them to begin regrowth of bone lost to gum disease.
• Bone surgery- If necessary, this procedure happens after flap surgery. Before reattaching your gum over the root of your tooth, the dentist reshapes the bone to remove any pitting from bacteria.
Remember that prevention is always easier than a cure when it comes to gum disease. Brush and floss carefully and call our office to schedule your regular cleaning and exams.