Periodontal Treatment

Periodontal Treatment

Although your gums may feel healthy, if you are not practicing adequate oral hygiene, there is a chance that you are developing some form of periodontal disease. The condition affects the gums specifically and comes in multiple stages, with each progression becoming more severe when left untreated. Receiving regular dental examinations at La Jolla Cosmetic Dentistry & Orthodontics in La Jolla, San Diego can ensure that your gums remain healthy, and if you do show signs of periodontal disease, Dr. Kohani can provide a number of treatment options depending on the current health of your gums.

Forms of Periodontal Disease and Their Symptoms

Unlike many oral health conditions, periodontal disease is completely preventable if you practice proper oral hygiene. Brushing and flossing your teeth as well as rinsing your mouth with mouthwash multiple times every day, will all but eliminate your chances of acquiring periodontal disease. Other factors like maintaining a healthy weight and refraining from smoking will lessen your chances of a periodontal disease diagnosis.

The disease develops in stages, with gingivitis being the mildest form. Gingivitis is caused by plaque and tartar that has built up and been left on the surface of the teeth for a prolonged period, causing inflammation in the gums. You may notice signs of gingivitis if your gums begin to bleed slightly whenever you brush or floss. To combat gingivitis, it is important to floss daily as well as receive a dental cleaning from Dr. Kohani every six months, where he can remove the plaque that has hardened onto your teeth.

When gingivitis is left untreated, it will eventually progress into periodontitis — the most severe form of periodontal disease. When periodontitis occurs, the inflammation causes the gums to recede from the teeth, creating pockets that allow plaque to develop further below the gum line. Additionally, your body’s immune system will begin to fight the bacteria and subsequently break down the tissues that help support your teeth. In the most problematic cases of periodontitis, the infection breaks down the teeth, jaw bone, gums and other supporting tissues, making it almost impossible to save the natural teeth.

Prevent Periodontal Disease Now

Most people with some form of periodontal disease don’t recognize that there is a problem until their 30s or 40s. They will often begin to show signs that include:

  • Bad breath
  • Tooth sensitivity
  • Tender, swollen, or bleeding gums
  • Receding gums
  • Discomfort when chewing
  • Loosening teeth

When these symptoms emerge, it’s vital that you schedule an appointment with Dr. Kohani, as these are signs of a serious problem. To prevent symptoms like these, preventative care is key. Multiple studies have shown that those who have periodontal disease have a higher chance of developing heart disease and diabetes. Although little is known about whether periodontal disease is a direct cause of these conditions, the infection from the gums is likely to spread beyond the mouth if allowed to progress. Dr. Khohani can discuss the most effective methods for taking care of your teeth outside of the dentist’s office as well as provide an examination and cleaning that will keep periodontal disease at bay. He will take x-rays and review your medical history to see whether the infection has spread below the gum line, which will help him determine the best treatment option for you.

Your Treatment Options

Because periodontal disease occurs in stages, your treatment will likely vary depending on the severity of your case. The goal of periodontal disease treatment, whether you have gingivitis or periodontitis, is to eliminate the infection as much as possible and save your natural dentition, but getting there may involve one or more methods of treatment.

Deep cleaning – The most common way to combat periodontal disease is by a deep cleaning process, otherwise known as scaling and root planing. The procedure involves removing the plaque that has built up on the teeth by scraping it from around the gum line (scaling) and removing the regions where bacteria has begun to impact the root of the tooth (planing).

Flap surgery – When deeper pockets have begun to form around the teeth, it will become necessary to treat these receding gums in order to keep bacteria from spreading. Flap surgery involves removing the plaque already present below the gum line and then using sutures to place the gums back around the tooth.

Gum grafting – In cases where the teeth, jaw bone, and gums have begun to atrophy due to periodontitis, gum grafting may be the most effective option to help you maintain your natural dentition. Grafting procedures help regenerate bone or tissue that has been lost. Either guided tissue regeneration or a soft tissue graft can be used to regrow gum tissue or replace disintegrating bone.

To learn more about periodontal disease along with the treatment options that are available to you, contact La Jolla Cosmetic Dentistry & Orthodontics at 858-295-0603 to schedule a consultation with Dr. Kohani.