Keeping Up with Your Periodontal Health

Group of friendsPeriodontal disease affects the majority of Americans over 35, but it is not inevitable. Keeping up with your periodontal health can help you keep your gums healthy and avoid this common dental problem. Our North Hollywood dentist can help you design a preventive periodontal strategy to protect your gums and your smile.

1. Use the right tools.
Many people use a toothbrush that is too rough. A soft-bristled toothbrush is ideal because bristles that are hard or stiff can injure your gums and leave them vulnerable to infection.

2. Brush properly each time you brush.
Technique matters as much as frequency. Clean your teeth using small tooth-length strokes with your brush at a 45-degree angle towards your gums, and spend about two minutes at a time brushing.

3. Clean between your teeth.
The toothbrush cannot reach between each set of teeth, so you do need to use a special tool to clean in this area. Floss is perhaps the most common tool of choice, but you can also use floss picks, dental flossers or interdental cleaners to clean between your teeth. Whatever you choose, just remember to clean between your teeth at least once a day.

4. Eat a healthy diet.
What you eat matters, too. Brushing and flossing perfectly is not going to help your teeth very much if you eat a starchy, processed diet low in nutrients. You have to feed your teeth and gums plenty of healthy foods to keep them strong.

5. Visit us.
Regular dental cleanings and checkups on a recommended schedule will always be important because they help us monitor your teeth and gums for early signs of problems and give you important advice on how to improve your dental routine.

Call our periodontist in North Hollywood to schedule your next appointment.

How to Know if You Have Gum Disease

Closeup portrait of a successful business team laughing togetherThere are several warning signs that may point to gum disease. For many patients, bleeding gums trigger a wave of concern. Our dentists in North Hollywood are experts in detecting signs of gum disease and combating symptoms before they progress.

There are numerous factors that can contribute to the development of gum disease. For example, hormonal changes that occur during pregnancy, puberty, menopause, and menstruation are known to increase gum sensitivity, allowing for gingivitis to develop. Patients with illnesses such as cancer, HPV, and diabetes are at higher risk of developing gum disease. Any of these factors paired with poor oral hygiene, smoking, or a family history of gum disease are cause for concern. If gingivitis occurs and is left untreated, it can develop into gum disease. Several periodontal treatments are available to those suffering from gingivitis, and should be sought out promptly at the sign of infection. In order to prevent and reverse gingivitis, one should practice plaque control through daily brushing and flossing. However, this is not enough. Patients must receive a professional cleaning every six months to ensure their gums are healthy. Another step would be to maintain a well-balanced diet to promote a strong immune system. Vitamins E and C are incredibly effective in repairing damaged body tissue.

When is Surgery Required for Gum Disease?

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Gum disease is a common problem, and while it can be reversed in its earliest stages, it can also be quite aggressive. Without treatment, it can destroy the structures that surround and protect the teeth, leading to tooth and bone loss. For this reason, our periodontists in LA may recommend surgery to treat gum disease for some patients.

Bacterial plaque, a thin biofilm that consists of bacteria and food debris, is the primary cause of gum disease. Plaque is constantly forming in your mouth, and good dental hygiene is required to remove it. If it builds up, the toxins released by the bacteria irritate the gums, which respond by becoming inflamed. The inflammatory response is defensive and helps destroy the bacteria, but it also destroys the gum and bone tissue.

You may benefit from surgery for gum disease if you have:

• Deep periodontal pockets that cannot be easily cleaned
• Exposed tooth roots due to gum recession
• Lost bone tissue around the teeth

A variety of restorative and regenerative procedures can be used to tighten periodontal pockets and regrow lost tissues. They will typically be performed in conjunction with more conservative therapies. Call our gum surgeon in Los Angeles to learn more or to schedule your consultation.

What is a Deep Cleaning?

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When you brush your teeth, do you pay any attention to your gums? Some features of the gums may seem normal to you, but can actually be signs of gum disease. Gum disease starts as gingivitis, and can develop into periodontitis if not treated properly. Our cosmetic dentist in Houston employs several treatments and procedures to eliminate gum disease.

The first step advised when signs of gingivitis appear is rigorous preventive care. This includes a routine cleaning, as well as attentive brushing and flossing at home. If this is not effective and the conditions worsen, a deep cleaning is recommended next.

A deep cleaning is also referred to as a scaling and root planing. Our dentist will use a sharp tool to remove plaque from just above and just below the gum line. This should significantly reduce the periodontal pockets that have developed due to accumulated plaque and tartar.

Many patients see successful results after a deep cleaning. If inflammation progresses and the scaling and root planing does not work, there are several other tactics our dentist can try, such as pocket reduction. If you believe you are showing signs of gum disease, take the first step and call our dentist to schedule an appointment today.

Importance of Oral Health for Your Overall Health

Closeup portrait of a successful business team laughing together

Did you know that your smile holds clues to more than just your mood? It also reveals secrets about your health. Protecting your dental health can help protect your body’s health, and protecting your body’s health might just help you take better care of your smile, too.

Your mouth is full of bacteria. Although most of these bacteria strains are harmless or beneficial, a few can be dangerous. Brushing and flossing keep the bad bacteria colonies under control. If plaque, a biofilm that contains these unhealthy bacteria, builds up to dangerous levels, you could be facing oral infections like gum disease and tooth decay.

Research has linked gum disease with pregnancy complications, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, dementia, and other major health problems. Some physical problems have been shown to affect dental health, too, including diabetes, osteoporosis, Alzheimer’s disease, and HIV/AIDS.

Your best bet is to practice good dental hygiene every day. Eating a healthy diet is good for your smile and good for your body. Schedule regular dental checkups, utilize preventive dentistry, and treat problems as they occur. Avoid tobacco use. Call our office today to learn more or to schedule your next appointment.

Common Treatment Options for Gum Disease

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Gum disease is a chronic infection of the gum tissue and structures that support the teeth. It does not heal on its own and requires treatment. Our periodontist will create a personalized treatment plan to address your specific needs and symptoms.

Common treatment options for gum disease include:

• A professional cleaning to remove all plaque and tartar
• A deep cleaning, called a scaling and root planing, to remove all plaque and tartar above and below the gum line and smooth the roots’ surfaces
• Periodontal maintenance to maintain the health of the gingival tissues and remove any new buildup
• Dental implants to replace lost teeth
• Pocket reduction surgery to eliminate extensive plaque buildup on the root surfaces
• Gingival grafts to cover exposed roots and replace lost gum tissue
• Bone grafts or regeneration procedures to stimulate new bone growth and replace lost bone tissue

Any treatment plan must be accompanied by improved at-home care. This means that you may need to address dietary, dental hygiene, or lifestyle factors that could be contributing to your gum disease. Call our office today to learn more or to schedule your consultation with our expert in gum disease treatment in Los Angeles.

When is Having Gum Surgery Necessary?

Autumn womanWhen most people think of surgery, they think of the brain or the heart, not the gums. But unfortunately, gum surgery is both common and necessary. Gum disease has two stages – mild, or gingivitis, and severe, also known as periodontitis. Gum surgery is performed to cure the latter.

Gum disease has many visible symptoms. Those with gingivitis may notice that their gums are red, puffy, and swollen, and that they bleed when brushing and flossing. As the condition progresses, the teeth may appear longer, as the gums will begin to recede. Periodontal pockets, created by plaque accumulating between the gum tissue and the teeth, will also form.

There are several type of surgeries performed to eliminate the symptoms of severe gum disease. The first usually attempted is a scaling and root planing. This is where our Orange County dentist will use special sharp tools to scrape away the plaque and other harmful substances away from the gum line, and below the gums against the tooth roots.

If this tactic is not successful, gum flap surgery is usually the next step. Our gum surgeon in Orange County will make an incision in the gums in order to pull the apart to better access and remove the plaque on roots of the teeth.