How is Gum Disease Treated?

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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.

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What is Gum Grafting?

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In later stages of periodontal disease, gums can pull away from teeth, leaving the roots exposed and vulnerable. The damage of gum disease cannot be reversed, but gum grafting may be used to restore lost tissue and reduce the risk of damage to the tooth roots or tooth loss.

A gum graft is a procedure in which tissues are grafted over the exposed roots of the tooth. This tissue is often taken from the palate or an area of healthy gum tissue. If you do not have enough healthy tissue for a graft, donor tissue or synthetic materials can be used to regenerate new gum tissue. A gum graft can be performed on one or more teeth depending on your condition and needs.

Most patients will recover quickly, but some pain and discomfort are normal. You might need to adjust your diet for a few days to avoid disrupting the healing tissues. Additionally, you will need to take special precautions while brushing and flossing to maintain the integrity of the graft sites.

If you suffer from periodontitis and have suffered extensive gum recession, you might be a candidate for a gum graft. Call our office today to schedule your appointment with our Los Angeles periodontist.

Questions to Ask Yourself if You Think You Suffer from Gum Disease

Young happy caucasian woman nakedGum disease is an infection that attacks the tissues that surround the teeth. Also called periodontal disease, the infection typically starts at the gum line where the teeth meet the gums. In the earliest stage, which is known as gingivitis, gums can look swollen and inflamed, but in more advanced cases of periodontitis, gums and the other supporting tissues can be damaged and destroyed, leading to tooth and bone loss.

If you suspect that you might have gingivitis or periodontitis, ask yourself a few questions, including:

1. Do my gums bleed for no reason or when I am brushing or flossing my teeth?
2. Do my teeth look longer, or are the roots becoming visible?
3. Is my breath always bad no matter what I do? Do I have a bad taste in my mouth?
4. Are my gums red or puffy, or do they look swollen or shiny?
5. Do my gums feel tender or sore?
6. Do I have new gaps between my teeth, or are any of my teeth loose?
7. Does my bite feel different?

If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, you might have periodontal disease. Call our Los Angeles periodontics expert today to learn more or to schedule your complete periodontal evaluation.

Benefits of Laser Periodontal Therapy

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Laser periodontal therapy is a brand-new therapy for periodontal disease and offers promising results for many patients. If you have periodontal disease, our expert in periodontics in Los Angeles may recommend laser periodontal therapy.

Conventional gum disease treatment involves cleaning the plaque and tartar buildup responsible for the gum inflammation and smoothing the surface of the exposed root. Periodontal surgery can be used in later stages. With laser therapy, a special dental laser is used to remove tartar, plaque, and bacteria and help the gum tissue heal and regenerate. The laser can also be used to smooth the root of the tooth. Lasers reduce bleeding, speed healing, and minimize swelling and pain. They also allow for more precise and accurate targeting of diseased tissue for easier, faster recovery and healing.

After undergoing laser therapy, proper post-therapy dental care is critical. You may need to adjust your at-home dental hygiene routine and the products you use. You may also need more frequent professional cleanings to reduce the risk of dental infections. Call our expert in laser periodontal therapy in Los Angeles today to learn more or to schedule your appointment with our team.

Surgery for Treating Gum Disease

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Gum disease can often be managed with noninvasive therapies, but in some cases, the damage is extensive enough that surgery is necessary. If our periodontists in Los Angeles recommend surgery for treating your gum disease, there may be several options available depending on your needs.

1. Periodontal pocket reduction
When gums become irritated, they begin to pull away from the teeth, forming pockets. These pockets gradually fill with plaque and tartar, which can push the gums even further from the teeth. Periodontal pockets can be virtually impossible to keep clean, but pocket reduction surgery can help tighten the tissue around the teeth again.

2. Lost gum tissue or exposed roots
Over time, gums will pull away from teeth so much that roots can be exposed, which can lead to root decay and sensitivity. Gum grafts can restore the lost tissue and protect your teeth.

3. Lost bone tissue
If the bacteria and inflammation reach the bone that supports the tooth, the bone can become damaged. Restoring lost bone tissue is critical to protecting your long-term dental and general health. Bone tissue can be taken from other areas and fused to the area.

Call our gum surgeon in Los Angeles today to learn more about gum disease surgery or to schedule your appointment with our team.