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.

Common Symptoms of Gingivitis

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Gingivitis, or early gum disease, is a widespread dental problem that can progress to full-blown periodontitis if it is left untreated. Gingivitis can eventually lead to tooth loss and serious infections if no action is taken to stop the infection. Here is a look at the most common symptoms of gingivitis.

Gum Inflammation and Bleeding

Gums often show signs of inflammation as bacteria attack them, including bleeding and tenderness. For many patients, these symptoms are most apparent when they brush and floss their teeth. As gingivitis worsens, pain can also appear when patients chew food.

Bad Breath

Known clinically as halitosis, bad breath is strongly associated with gingivitis. The bacteria involved in gum disease produce sulfurous compounds, which smell like rotten eggs. With the right experience, a dentist can often pinpoint gingivitis as the cause behind the halitosis based on the type of odor alone.

Progression of gingivitis may be marked by abscesses, jawbone damage and tooth loss. The bacteria frequently create fissures in the gums, which places patients at risk of systemic infections if the bacteria enter the blood stream. Fortunately, timely use of periodontics can stop and reverse gingivitis before these issues develop. At a consultation with our dentist, patients can learn more about gingivitis and how it can be prevented.

Periodontal Disease Symptoms

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Periodontal disease, also known as gum disease, is a common ailment that occurs when the gum tissue in a patient’s mouth becomes infected. Periodontal disease can occur in varying stages. The more mild case of the disease is known as gingivitis, and it can be treated with non-surgical treatments provided by our Los Angeles periodontics expert. But the more advanced stage of the disease is known as periodontitis, and real damage can occur if it is not treated promptly.

Your dentist will check for gum disease during every dental exam, and you will learn about the various periodontal disease symptoms for the early and advanced stages of the disease. The earlier signs of gum disease include redness, tenderness, and swelling in the gums. You may also experience bleeding gums when you brush and floss your teeth. The treatments for the early stages of periodontal disease include a professional dental cleaning and a scaling and root planing.

The more advanced symptoms of periodontal disease include gum recession, loosening of the teeth, and jaw bone deterioration. It is best to see a periodontist at the first sign of trouble so that permanent damage does not occur to the oral structures.