Gum Disease Treatment & Gingivitis Prevention in Century City
Our Los Angeles dental team, care about your gum health. We believe good brushing and flossing is not just a key component in taking care of your oral health but is also intimately linked to your overall general health. Infections in the mouth can spread to other parts of the body or cause side effects compromising other areas of the body. Taking care of your gums can prevent many diseases from ultimately impacting your life.
As a seasoned and caring LA dental team, we are interested in improving every aspect of our patient’s health by providing the best in dental care. Our comprehensive cleanings, screenings, treatments, and oral hygiene recommendations are designed to effectively address gum health.
How is Gum Health Related to Heart Disease and Respiratory Health
Dr. Richard Silvera is able to identify and address chronic dental conditions, such as gum disease (gingivitis), and periodontal disease which have a far-reaching impact on your overall well-being. Gum diseases impact other aspects of a person’s health, including:
- Heart Health– Researchers suggest that heart attack and strokes can be linked to gum disease, however, the jury is still out on exactly what about gum disease causes coronary disease. One fact is true - Infection in the mouth enters the bloodstream through the gums. Some researchers note that some of the same bacteria in diseased gums is also found in deposits creating a clogged artery. Another theory explains that the body’s natural defense to gum disease causes gum swelling. This same natural defense could be causing cells to swell creating the ideal groundwork for blood clots to form. One thing is clear – Doctors and Scientists alike do see a link between bad oral health and heart disease.
- Lungs – Gum disease is also connected with respiratory infections, such as pneumonia and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
- Diet and Nutrition– The tenderness and pain that comes with aggressive and chronic periodontal disease may cause a change in eating habits, affecting biting pressure and function. This can lead to poor nutrition and further health problems.
- Cleanings and Prevention
Our Los Angeles dentist Dr. Silvera teaches patients on the importance of effective and regular teeth and gum cleaning. A clean and healthy mouth translates to a clean and healthier you. In between your twice yearly professional cleanings with Dr. Silvera, it is important to remember to brush twice daily preferably using fluoridated toothpaste and floss at least once a day, too.
Types of Periodontal Disease
There are many different varieties of periodontal disease, and many ways in which these variations manifest themselves. All require immediate treatment by a periodontist to halt the progression and save the gum tissue and bone.
Here are some of the most common types of periodontal disease along with the treatments typically performed to correct them:
Gingivitis is the mildest and most common form of periodontitis. It is caused by the toxins in plaque and leads to periodontal disease. People at increased risk of developing gingivitis include pregnant women, women taking birth control pills, people with uncontrolled diabetes, steroid users and people who control seizures and blood pressure using medication.
Treatment: Gingivitis is easily reversible using a solid combination of home care and professional cleaning. The dentist may perform root planing and deep scaling procedures to cleanse the pockets of debris. A combination of antibiotics and medicated mouthwashes may be used to kill any remaining bacteria and promote the good healing of the pockets.
Chronic Periodontal Disease
Chronic periodontal disease is the most common form of the disease, and occurs much more frequently in people over 45. Chronic periodontal disease is characterized by inflammation below the gum line and the progressive destruction of the gingival and bone tissue. It may appear that the teeth are gradually growing in length, but in actuality the gums are gradually recessing.
Treatment: Unfortunately unlike gingivitis, chronic periodontal disease cannot be completely cured because the supportive tissue cannot be rebuilt. However, the dentist can halt the progression of the disease using scaling and root planing procedures in combination with antimicrobial treatments. If necessary, the periodontist can perform surgical treatments such as pocket reduction surgery and also tissue grafts to strengthen the bone and improve the aesthetic appearance of the oral cavity.
Aggressive Periodontal Disease
Aggressive periodontal disease is characterized by the rapid loss of gum attachment, the rapid loss of bone tissue and familial aggregation. The disease itself is essentially the same as chronic periodontitis but the progression is much faster. Smokers and those with a family history of this disease are at an increased risk of developing aggressive periodontitis.
Treatment: The treatments for aggressive periodontal disease are the same as those for chronic periodontal disease, but aggressive periodontal disease sufferers are far more likely to require a surgical intervention. This form of the disease is harder to halt and treat, but the dentist will perform scaling, root planing, antimicrobial, and in some cases laser procedures in an attempt to save valuable tissue and bone.
Periodontal Disease Relating to Systemic Conditions
Periodontal disease can be a symptom of a disease or condition affecting the rest of the body. Depending on the underlying condition, the disease can behave like aggressive periodontal disease, working quickly to destroy tissue. Heart disease, diabetes and respiratory disease are the most common cofactors, though there are many others. Even in cases where little plaque coats the teeth, many medical conditions intensify and accelerate the progression of periodontal disease.
Treatment: Initially, the medical condition which caused the onset of periodontal disease must be controlled. The dentist will halt the progression of the disease using the same treatments used for controlling aggressive and chronic periodontal disease.
Necrotizing Periodontal Disease
This form of the disease rapidly worsens and is more prevalent among people who suffer from HIV, immunosuppression, malnutrition, chronic stress or choose to smoke. Tissue death (necrosis) frequently affects the periodontal ligament, gingival tissues and alveolar bone.
Treatment: Necrotizing periodontal disease is extremely rare. Because it may be associated with HIV or another serious medical condition, it is likely the dentist will consult with a physician before commencing treatment. Scaling, root planing, antibiotic pills, medicated mouth wash and fungicidal medicines are generally used to treat this form of the disease.
Treating Gum Disease
Periodontal treatment methods depend upon the type and severity of the disease. Your dentist and dental hygienist will evaluate for periodontal disease and recommend the appropriate treatment.
Periodontal disease progresses as the sulcus (pocket or space) between the tooth and gums gets filled with bacteria, plaque, and tartar, causing irritation to the surrounding tissues. When these irritants remain in the pocket space, they can cause damage to the gums and eventually, the bone that supports the teeth!
If the disease is caught in the early stages of gingivitis, and no damage has been done, one to two regular cleanings will be recommended. You will also be given instructions on improving your daily oral hygiene habits and having regular dental cleanings.
If the disease has progressed to more advanced stages, a special periodontal cleaning called scaling and root planing (deep cleaning) will be recommended. It is usually done one quadrant of the mouth at a time while the area is numb. In this procedure, tartar, plaque, and toxins are removed from above and below the gum line (scaling) and rough spots on root surfaces are made smooth (planing). This procedure helps gum tissue to heal and pockets to shrink. Medications, special medicated mouth rinses, and an electric tooth brush may be recommended to help control infection and healing.
If the pockets do not heal after scaling and root planing, periodontal surgery may be needed to reduce pocket depths, making teeth easier to clean. Your dentist may also recommend that you see a Periodontist (specialist of the gums and supporting bone).
Ready to Get your Oral Health on Track?
Contact Century City Dental Associates to make an appointment. We offer multiple in-office periodontal treatments to help our patients get gum healthy. From Perio cleanings and fluoride treatments to oral cancer screenings, our Los Angeles patients receive the help they need to keep their mouths healthy and contributing to their whole body health!