If plaque is allowed to accumulate unchecked, it eventually leads to tooth decay. If tooth decay gets bad enough, you may even develop gum disease.
The earliest stage of gum disease is gingivitis. At this point, plaque has accumulated to the level that your gums will be inflamed, causing red tender gums that bleed easily during brushing and flossing. No bone or tissue loss has occurred in this stage, so the gingivitis is highly treatable through scaling and root planing. Scaling is when the dentist scrapes away the plaque and tartar that has built up above and below the gumline. Root planing is when the dentist removes the rough bacteria deposits that form at the root of your tooth. If scaling and root planing is done early enough, then gingivitis can be reversible and your smile can be saved.
If gingivitis is left untreated, then it can very easily develop into gum disease. During gum disease, your gums will start to separate from your bone. This creates pockets in which the bacteria are able to thrive. Scaling and root planing can halt gum disease if it is not too advanced, but it will not be able to reverse any damage that has been experienced. If gum disease gets bad enough, our dentists in North Hollywood may recommend surgery in order to control it. If enough bone and tissue have been lost, you may need to have either a bone graft or a soft tissue graft to restore them. Another possible treatment is flap surgery, in which our expert in periodontal treatments in North Hollywood surgically lifts your gums back to remove the plaque and tartar that has accumulated.