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Healthy Gums with Periodontal Therapy

woman wearing turtleneck smilingPeriodontal (gum) disease is one of the most common oral and overall health conditions in the U.S. today. Recent studies reveal that more than 50% of U.S. adults over 30 suffer from some level of gum disease. Periodontal disease is also the leading cause of tooth loss in American adults, and gum disease is even linked to numerous chronic or systemic illnesses, including stroke, heart attack, diabetes, and even pre-term and low-weight births. It’s no secret that gum disease is a serious health concern, but many patients still don’t know much about this highly pervasive oral danger.

Diagnosing Periodontal Disease

Caring for patients’ gums is one of our top priorities. During each six-month checkup, we will take time to examine your gum tissue thoroughly and measure the depth of gum “pockets” (the space between teeth and gums). This allows us to diagnose and treat periodontal disease in its mildest form, which is commonly known as gingivitis. This mild form of gum disease is very subtle. Most patients don’t realize they are suffering from gum disease at this point. Some of the common warning signs include discoloration of the gums, sensitivity or discomfort in gum tissue, and mild bleeding while brushing, flossing, or chewing. More frequent professional cleanings may be enough to reverse the effects of gingivitis, but left untreated, this mild form of periodontal disease can develop into the more advanced periodontitis. Symptoms of periodontitis include:

Periodontal Disease Symptoms

Common Periodontal Therapy Procedures

Treatment for this condition is more in depth, but the goal is to remove all bacteria, plaque, and tartar from below the gum line. Removing these substances and keeping your teeth and gums free of them is the goal of periodontal therapy.

Scaling and root planing are most commonly used to correct more advanced periodontal disease. Scaling is the removal of bacteria, plaque, and irritated tissue from the tooth roots and gum tissue. Planing smooths the roots to prevent any future buildup of bacteria, plaque, and tartar. These treatments prevent gum recession and help to restore oral health. Plaque and bacteria may enter the blood stream through sores and infected tissue along the gum line, so removing the buildup protects both oral and overall health. We may also recommend antibiotic therapy or surgical care. Contact our Anaheim Hills, CA office today if you have any questions for our staff or if you’re ready to schedule a consultation.