Understanding Gum Disease For Better Treatment
Knowing is half the battle, but with periodontal (gum) disease, you may not know there’s a problem until it’s advanced to more serious stages. At Carson Dental Care, our resident dentist Dr. Maria Cecilia Aluning offers knowledge about periodontal disease alongside effective periodontal treatment to address every stage of the infection.
We want to help patients understand periodontal disease and recognize the signs of periodontal disease to encourage them to seek professional treatment sooner. Keep reading to learn how our Carson, CA dentist can help keep your gums healthy and your smile beautiful.
What is Periodontal Disease?
Periodontal disease, also known as gum disease, is an infection of the gum tissue. The source of the infection can be the result of multiple factors, including:
- Build-up of bacteria-laden plaque and tartar (food particles and bacteria)
- Tobacco use
- Sugar-rich diets
- Diseases such as diabetes, Lupus, and heart disease
- Teeth grinding (bruxism)
- Certain medications
Signs of Periodontal Disease
It’s important to recognize the signs of gum disease to know when to seek treatment. The following symptoms are often a good indicator that you may have or are developing gum disease and require professional periodontal services:
- Loose or separating teeth
- Bite changes
- Restorations like dentures or bridges not fitting correctly
- Defective fillings
- Bad breath
- Metal taste in your mouth
- Sores that don’t improve after two weeks
- Tender or swollen gums
- Bleeding gums
- Gum recession
If you’ve experienced any of the symptoms mentioned above, you should contact Carson Dental Care as soon as possible by dialing (310) 549-5580.
Stages of Periodontal Disease
The earliest stage of periodontal disease, gingivitis, is also the easiest to treat. During this stage, you might experience some minor pain or tenderness, although some patients don’t notice much difference in how their gums look and feel. With regular dental exams and a more refined at-home dental hygiene routine, you can halt and reverse gingivitis.
At the initial periodontitis stage, the infection begins to attack the structures supporting your teeth. Common signs may include pain and bleeding of the gums when brushing, but because it’s still a moderately mild stage, it’s still easy to miss. The damage caused by initial periodontitis can’t be reversed, but with more frequent dental exams, better at-home hygiene, and proper professional treatment, Dr. Aluning can help keep any damage minimal.
Bearing many similarities to initial periodontitis, moderate periodontitis causes more advanced damage to the ligaments and bones attaching your teeth to your gums. Additionally, the infection is now capable of entering your bloodstream and spreading to other parts of your body. Chronic inflammation caused by bacteria traveling through the bloodstream is thought to be an explanation for why patients with gum disease seem to be at greater risk for heart disease.
Advanced periodontitis is the stage where the damage to your gums is at its most extensive. During this stage, you’ll likely notice symptoms such as severe pain, constant bad breath, and loose teeth. Advanced periodontitis often requires multiple surgical interventions and recurring subsequent exams and treatments to ensure your oral health stays stable.
Effective Periodontal Disease Treatment Matters
No matter what stage of gum disease you’re experiencing, it should be handled with the utmost seriousness –not only to protect your oral health, but also your overall health and the aesthetics of your smile. Dr. Aluning can help improve the health of your gums and keep them healthy by providing effective gum disease treatment options.
Our Periodontal Disease Treatment Options
Laser Assisted Scaling & Root Planing
Scaling and root planing refers to two separate procedures performed to eliminate infection and help your gums heal. During scaling,
your Carson dentist will remove plaque and tartar from beneath your gum line and around your teeth. In the root planing phase, she’ll smooth the roots of the teeth, eliminating pockets to help the gums reattach to your teeth and to prevent infection from recurring.
Dr. Aluning utilizes advanced dental technology to provide laser assisted scaling and root planing. Our DEKA US-20D CO2 Laser offers more effective and more comfortable periodontal disease treatment. Laser technology results in less pain, more optimized healing, and more effectively improves the appearance of your smile after root planing and scaling.
Perio Protect is a revolutionary soft-tissue treatment designed to efficiently deliver antibiotics where they’re needed. By wearing your custom-made Perio Trays™ for the prescribed amount of time, antibiotics can reach pockets below the gum line where brushing, flossing, and rinsing can’t.
After your initial consultation, Dr. Aluning will take digital images and impressions of your teeth. These will serve as the blueprints for your trays, which will be fabricated off site at a Perio Protect approved laboratory. You’ll return to Carson Dental Care once your Perio Trays are ready.
Dr. Aluning will provide the proper medicine and show you how to apply it to the trays. Once you’re home, you’ll wear your Perio Trays for the prescribed amount of time, usually no more than 15 minutes, and can go about your day while you do! Remove the trays, clean them, and store them for the next time.