Kinds of Periodontic Treatments

dental bracesGums can become inflamed and infected by oral bacteria, which live in plaque and tartar. Early intervention can often halt the progression of periodontal disease and reverse the damage, but if you have suffered tissue loss, you might need more extensive treatment. Our cosmetic dentist in Houston will create a personalized treatment plan to restore your gum health. Several types of periodontal treatments can be used, including surgical and nonsurgical therapies.

Non-surgical treatments include:

Scaling and root planing

Antimicrobial therapy

Laser therapy

Surgical procedures can include:

Crown lengthening

Pocket reduction

Dental implants

Gum grafts

Tissue regeneration

Your treatment plan will be based on the stage of periodontal disease and the extent of the damage. Most patients will need to undergo scaling and root planing, or SRP, which is a deep cleaning procedure, intended to remove the plaque and tartar buildup above and below the gum line. This might be all that is necessary to address minor cases of gingivitis, but more advanced cases of periodontal disease will typically need additional treatment, which can include other minimally invasive or surgical therapies. Call our office today to find out more or to schedule an appointment with our dentist for periodontics in Houston.

What is the Purpose of Scaling and Root Planing?

Woman at the dentistryWhen gum disease reaches a chronic stage, it can alter the fit of your gums. Your teeth may look elongated, which can be alarming. But they haven’t stretched—the gums around them have loosened. This creates a baggy effect known as periodontal pockets. When you have pockets, you make it even easier for bacteria to form at the gum line and destroy your teeth.

Once you’re at this point, it’s essential that you have scaling and root planing before something more dire is needed, like pocket reduction surgery. Also known as a deep cleaning, scaling and root planing happens in two phases. First, the existing pockets are cleaned using either ultrasonics or hand instruments. Since it’s so important that all the plaque deposits at the gum line be eradicated, our dentists in Northridge often likes to combine both the ultrasonic scanner and hand instruments for a more precise touch. The two can be used to check each other’s work, so to speak. We may also use lasers.

In the second phase, the dentist smooths the tooth roots to make it more difficult for bacteria to adhere. This is also done with a combination of digital and analog equipment.
Contact our office for more information.

Effects of Hormone Changes on the Gums

Portrait Of Adult Daughter With Mother At HomeHormones can wreak havoc on a woman’s life. They can trigger acne breakouts at the worst possible times and cause headaches, anxiety and fatigue. According to research, female hormones can also affect a woman’s mouth. Hormonal changes and surges can lead to gum inflammation, bacterial overgrowth and dry mouth. These issues often peak during puberty, pregnancy and menopause but can become a problem at points during each menstrual cycle as well. Our Los Angeles periodontist helps women keep their smiles healthier.

Progesterone causes the oral soft tissues to swell and may also suppress the immune system’s response to bacteria. When progesterone levels become extremely high, they can interfere with the ability of soft tissue to heal itself. High estrogen levels affect blood clotting rates, which can lead to bleeding gums, and as estrogen levels decrease, bone density can be lost.

Although women cannot control their hormones, they can take steps to minimize the effects their hormones have on their teeth. Because gum disease is one of the biggest risks associated with hormonal surges, good dental hygiene can be a woman’s best friend. Brushing and flossing remove plaque and bacteria for a healthier oral environment. Schedule regular dental cleanings as well to remove any buildup from hard-to-reach areas. Eat a balanced diet to provide your body with the nutrients it needs. Call our team today to learn about gum disease treatment for women or to schedule an appointment.

How Gum Disease Can Affect Your Heart

Heart disease is the number one cause of death in both men and women. Gum disease is also extremely common and becomes more common with age. Research has shown that heart disease and gum disease are linked.

Gum disease is a bacterial infection in the mouth. In the early stages, gums are often red and swollen. They bleed easily, and this allows the bacteria to pass into the bloodstream. Once the bacteria are in the bloodstream, they trigger the development of plaque in the arteries. This can ultimately lead to blood clots, heart attacks and strokes.

Protecting your smile might just also protect your heart. Keep your gums healthy by brushing and flossing every day, and visit our office on the right schedule. Use an antimicrobial mouthwash, which can kill more bacteria. Watch your gums for signs of gum disease, and let us know at the earliest sign of a problem so that we can recommend the appropriate treatment.

If you have a pre-existing heart condition, such as a history of endocarditis or hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, let us know before your appointment since this can increase your risk of complications after dental procedures.

Call our expert in periodontics in Los Angeles today to learn more or to schedule your appointment with our team.

Women and Periodontal Disease

girls gossiping in cafe on the beach

Women’s health needs can differ from men’s, and even though women tend to pay closer attention to maintaining their health, they are more vulnerable to certain conditions. One of these is gum disease. Gum disease is an oral infection that is caused by bacteria. These bacteria first cause inflammation in the gum tissue, and as the gums become irritated, they pull away from the teeth, creating deep pockets and allowing the infection to push further into the oral cavity. Without treatment by our periodontists, gum disease can lead to tooth and bone loss.

During times of hormonal changes, your gums can become more sensitive. This allows bacteria to irritate and inflame the tissue more easily. You might notice that your gums bleed more often or that they look puffy and swollen. Some sex hormones work to inhibit bacterial growth, and when the concentration of these hormones decrease, your vulnerability to gum infection can rise. Common high-risk periods for gum disease in women include:

• Puberty
• Pregnancy
• Menstruation
• Perimenopause
• Menopause

You might not have control over the hormonal fluctuations that occur at these times, but you can take steps to protect your teeth and gums. Good brushing and flossing habits along with a balanced diet are crucial to gum health. If you are pregnant or perimenopausal, you might benefit from more frequent dental cleanings. Contact us today to learn more about gum disease in women or to schedule your next appointment.

What is the Purpose of Periodontics?

Beautiful casual woman

Periodontics is the science and maintenance of the gums. Performed by periodontists who have studied the soft tissues for years, these practices fight inflammations that can lead to tooth loss and even heart disease.

There are two stages of gum inflammation: gingivitis and periodontitis. Gingivitis can occur through simple neglect, as bacteria builds up from irregular brushing and flossing. A common sign of gingivitis is bleeding while brushing. Not all gingivitis advances to periodontitis. The latter is the more serious condition and is the top cause of tooth loss among American adults.

A common treatment used by our periodontist in Los Angeles is scaling and root planing, which creates a more stable gum-to-tooth relationship. Periodontists use tools like scalers and curettes to scrape away destructive agents. If left untreated, these agents will erode the gumline and create periodontal pockets, which expose the teeth to even more bacteria. The completion of this devastating cycle would be tooth extraction, which the periodontist makes it her job to prevent.

Periodontists work closely with orthodontists and dental surgeons to police your whole face, not just your mouth. For more information on modern periodontics, contact our Los Angeles dentists.