Gum disease is a serious chronic infection of the gums and supporting structures of the teeth. Once it has spread to these deeper structures, the damage can be irreversible. Tooth loss, bone loss and gum loss are all common consequences of gum disease. At its earliest stages, however, gum disease is highly treatable and even reversible. For this reason, regular checkups with our dentist in Los Angeles are critical to preventing gum disease.
During your checkups, we look for symptoms that you may not spot on your own. These can include inflamed gums, gum tissue that looks puffy or shiny, gums that are red or gums that bleed easily. These symptoms may not be present throughout your whole mouth or can be concentrated just around one or a few teeth. A good professional cleaning can remove the irritating plaque and tartar and allow your gum tissue to heal.
If the disease is allowed to continue, the gums will begin to pull away from the teeth. This creates periodontal pockets, in which plaque and tartar can build up and create new hiding places for bacteria. As the pockets get larger, you will have more difficulty keeping them clean. Eventually, your teeth may become loose. The bacteria will eventually attack the bone under the teeth, and your jawbone can become thin, porous and brittle.
Diagnosing and treating gum disease in the earliest gingivitis stage may just save your smile. Call us to schedule your next checkup with our periodontist in Los Angeles.