In its initial stages, gum disease shows up as gingivitis and swelling and bleeding gums. As it progresses, it can damage the soft tissue and bone supporting your teeth. Don’t let periodontal disease destroy your oral health: Contact board-certified oral and maxillofacial surgeon, Dr. Jay Reznick, for treatment. He can stop the progression of periodontal disease and help save your teeth from his practice -- the Southern California Center of Oral & Facial Surgery -- in Tarzana, California.
The bacteria in your mouth form plaque on your teeth. When plaque isn’t sufficiently removed, it hardens into tartar, which can only be cleaned by a professional.
Plaque and tartar that remain on the teeth cause inflammation of your gums, or gingivitis. If you don’t halt gingivitis, it can progress to periodontitis.
Periodontitis causes your gums to pull away from the teeth and form pockets that hold excess bacteria and become infected. The infection starts to infiltrate the roots of your teeth, the supporting bone, and the soft tissue. Eventually, the teeth become loose due to the breakdown of their supporting structure and require extraction.
In the earliest stage of gingivitis, you might notice puffiness of your gums. They may appear reddened and bleed when you brush or floss. As gum disease progresses, it can lead to other symptoms, including:
At the Southern California Center for Oral & Facial Surgery, Dr. Reznick does everything possible to halt, or at least slow, the progression of gum disease.
Treatment depends on the extent of your gum disease infection. You can reverse gingivitis by revising your hygiene habits. Doing so involves brushing thoroughly two times a day with fluoride toothpaste and flossing once a day.
More severe progressions of periodontitis may require deep cleanings, known as scaling and root planing. During a scaling treatment, a hygienist scrapes tartar from above and below the gum line. During root planing, they remove the rough spots on the teeth that attract germs and rid you of excess bacteria.
If you have severe gum disease that lingers even after a deep cleaning, you may be a candidate for gum surgery. Dr. Reznick might recommend flap surgery, which removes tartar deposits that exist in deep gum pockets. The surgery involves lifting back the gums, removing tartar, and then suturing the gums back in place.
If you’ve lost bone due to gum disease, Dr. Reznick may recommend a bone or tissue graft to regenerate your bone and protect the roots of your teeth.