If your gums appear red or swollen or tend to bleed easily, you may have gum disease, otherwise known as periodontal disease. Without proper care, the condition can lead to tooth loss and other health concerns.
It’s important that you seek treatment if you are experiencing these symptoms or if you have noticed other irregularities in your oral health. Below, Dr. David Anson offers Beverly Hills patients details about periodontal disease as well as a brief overview of treatment options.
How Periodontal Disease Occurs
You may already know that the human mouth hosts a variety of bacteria—some of which are necessary for digestion and protecting our teeth. However, other bacteria can cause tooth decay and disease.
Part of the reason that you brush and floss is to remove food particles, which encourage bacteria to form a film (plaque) on your teeth. This plaque can harden into tartar within a few days, making it much more difficult to remove without the help of a dental professional.
Periodontal disease becomes a concern for patients in Beverly Hills when the bacteria from plaque and tartar begins to irritate the gums. The American Academy of Periodontology (AAP) recognizes four stages of the disease:
As patients progress through each stage, periodontal disease can cause increasing damage, discomfort, and eventual tooth loss.
The difference between gingivitis and the stages of periodontal disease that follow is that the connections between your teeth, gums, and bone haven’t been affected. However, you may notice that:
- Your gums are redder than usual.
- Your gums have a swollen appearance.
- You have bleeding or sensitivity around the gums.
Gingivitis can also have subtle or no noticeable symptoms. Visits with your general dentist can assist you in spotting the concern before it becomes a greater risk. Most patients can reverse gingivitis with the help of a dental professional along with regular brushing and flossing.
When plaque spreads and grows below the gum line, your body will try to defend itself from bacteria. It may also begin breaking down the tissues and bone that give your teeth strength. One of the clearest signs of this damage is when the gums recede from the teeth and create pockets.
The AAP currently defines each stage of periodontitis based on the depth of these pockets, the loss of bone, and the loss of tooth attachment:
- In early periodontitis, pocket depths are 3 to 5 millimeters. Bone loss viewed on x-rays may be up to 15% of the root length.
- In moderate periodontitis, pocket depths are 5 7 millimeters. Bone loss viewed on x-rays may be up to 30% of the root length,
- In advanced periodontitis, pocket depths are above 7 millimeters. Bone loss viewed on x-rays is greater than 30% of the root length.
Options for Treating Periodontal Disease
Dr. Anson offers patients in Beverly Hills and the surrounding areas several approaches to treatment:
- If you have early-stage periodontal disease, you may benefit from non-surgical gum treatment. Dr. Anson uses deep scaling to remove tartar from your gum line and root planing to smooth rough spots that collect germs. The process eliminates harmful bacteria and helps prevent its growth in the future.
- Moderate and advanced periodontal disease may require surgical intervention. Dr. Anson gains access to the infected area and thoroughly treats it to eliminate bacteria.
- If periodontal disease has harmed the underlying structure of your smile, Dr. Anson may recommend guided tissue regeneration and bone grafts to help retain teeth.
- If you have already lost one or more teeth to periodontal disease, he can place dental implants to restore aesthetics and functionality.
With an initial consultation at our practice, Dr. Anson can conduct a comprehensive examination, identify your needs, and talk with you about different approaches to your care.
If you are experiencing symptoms of periodontal disease, schedule an appointment at our office in Beverly Hills with Dr. Anson. Call (310) 657-0999 today.