San Marcos: (760) 798-1768
Fact: A lot of people do not know that they are suffering from gum disease. Gum disease is actually more common in the United States than most people realize. Worse, these sufferers don’t visit their San Diego periodontist until it is too late. Learn about gum disease, and which telltale signs should tell you to go run to your doctor the moment you see them!
Gingivitis – Inadequate oral hygiene leads to gingivitis. Plaque buildup on the teeth is infested with bacteria that inflame the gums. Without regular, proper brushing, flossing, and mouthwash, this bacteria buildup leads to the gums becoming sore, red, and swollen. It also makes the gums bleed easily. Gingivitis is the mildest of all periodontal disease and causes little to no discomfort at all. The problem, when managed properly, should not cause any permanent damage to the gums, the teeth, or the bone. The disease is treatable with home oral care treatments and should go away with ease. Without proper treatment, however, gingivitis can get worse and become periodontitis.
Periodontitis – Gingivitis that’s left untreated becomes its severe form, called periodontitis. The plaque buildup in the teeth grows into the lining of the gums and causes severe irritation and inflammation. When an infection such as this happens, the natural response of the body is to fight the infection-causing bacteria, damaging surrounding tissue and bone in the process. This causes a separation between the gums and the teeth, creates holes in the gums, and causes further damage to the teeth and inner tissues. It can lead to tooth loss.
Aside from poor oral hygiene, other factors such as lifestyle and other underlying health issues could cause gum disease. Here are some of the most common causes of periodontal disease:
Hormonal change – when the body experiences changes in hormones, the gums become more sensitive to inflammation. Examples include pregnancy, menopause, monthly menstruation, and puberty.
Illnesses – Diseases that affect the immune system (such as cancer or HIV) make the gums susceptible to infections; diabetes also raises the risks of developing gum disease.
Certain medications – Medications for other diseases that cause a decrease in saliva production can also cause sensitivity of the gums and raise infection risks.
Ideally, you should visit your dentist at least twice a year. In addition, when you see these first signs of gum problems, go right away to your trusted San Diego periodontist:
Depending on the severity of gum disease, your trusted San Diego periodontist may recommend and perform any of the following treatments:
Scaling and Root Planing: This is non-invasive and perhaps the most basic type of periodontal treatment. Using small, sharp dental tools, the periodontist will carefully scale and scrape away all the accumulated plaque and tartar at the root of the teeth. This buildup is what leads to tissue and bone damage, so it must be removed as soon as possible. In more severe cases, therapy using antimicrobials may be administered, but this is not necessary in most cases.
Laser Therapy Treatment: Laser therapy is a non-invasive procedure that is similar to scaling and root planing. However, instead of using sharp tools to remove the built up tartar and plaque at the root of the teeth, a laser is used. An added benefit to laser therapy is the fact that it corrects receded gums.
Periodontal Pocket Reduction: When the gum disease has progressed sufficiently, pockets will form under the lining of the gums. The attachment of the gum to the tooth becomes loose, creating room for bacteria to get into the bone and tissues. With pocket reduction, the periodontist folds the gum back to remove all the accumulated bacteria components and smooth the bone underneath. This promotes better reattachment of the gum tissue to the bone for a fresh, clean start. Pocket reduction procedure is done where there is significant pocket formation and rooting or scaling the tartar and plaque are not enough to get to the accumulated plaque that is set more deeply.
Bone Grafting: In the most severe cases, where there is extreme damage of the bone, bone grafting may be necessary. With bone grafting, the gum is pulled back, accumulated bacteria are removed thoroughly, and bone grafts are put in place. Tissue-generating proteins may also be added to help the body regenerate and heal more quickly.
Don’t let your gums wait! Run to Irresistible Smiles San Diego at the very first sign of gum disease and get proper Gum Treatment. Call our San Diego clinic at (858) 755-8993, Chula Vista clinic at (619) 656-6785 and San Marcos clinic at (760) 798-1768 to set an appointment with our expert periodontists!