How is Periodontal Disease Diagnosed?

Senior man giving woman piggyback ride

Our patients here at our dental office are often concerned about Periodontal disease also called gum disease. They are curious about prevention and how we diagnose it in our practice. Because it is usually painless, it is easy to develop gum disease and not know you have the disorder. This is especially true for patients who have gone for long periods of time with no dental care.

Our dentist finds most cases of periodontitis during routine dental exams. The earliest symptoms are easy for our periodontist in San Francisco to spot.
These signs include:
• RED AND SWOLLEN GUMS- These are one of the earliest signs of a problem with your gums. The gums react this way because they are fighting off the attacking infection.

• LOOSE TEETH- Unless you still have baby teeth, loose teeth are always a sign of a problem. Your tooth should stay anchored in place and never move. Even if your teeth that wiggle just a few millimeters, it could indicate gum disease.

• BLEEDING GUMS- Healthy gums do not bleed when gently brushed or flossed. The bleeding could mean you are overly aggressive when caring for your teeth, but it is quite likely that it is a signal of a periodontal problem.

If our dentist suspects gum disease, he will examine your teeth with a dental probe. The probe is a small and thin dental tool that measures, in millimeters, the size of gaps between your teeth and gums. Any pockets more than three millimeters deep indicate gum disease additionally, bleeding when our dentist inserts the dental probe is also a sign of periodontitis.

Another way to diagnose periodontal disease is with x-ray technology. A panoramic x-ray will show the level of bone around your teeth. If our dentist sees a variance of bone levels, it denotes gum disease.

If left untreated, periodontal disease can create problems like tooth infection, tooth loss, and bone loss. Fortunately, there are treatments which are highly successful in eliminating gum disease. These vary according to the severity of your condition.

The best option is to prevent periodontal disease by:
• Brushing your teeth with a soft toothbrush at least twice a day
• Flossing your teeth at bedtime
• Regular dental check-ups

If you suspect you have gum disease, or would like more information, please contact us. We are always happy to help.

Advertisements

Prosthodontists and What They Do

Dental assistant smiling at cameraProsthodontists are often the chief architects of dental makeovers. Their training includes four years of dental school as usual, plus three graduate years during which they study extensively in the restoration and replacement of teeth. Prosthodontics is one of nine dental specialties spelled out by the American Dental Association (ADA).

Practices of our prosthodontist in LA include:

• Crowning or “capping” teeth that have structural insufficiency

• Placing veneers to camouflage chips, stains, or other surface flaws in teeth

• Dental implants, bonding, and placement of full and partial dentures

• Advanced maxillofacial prosthetics, like oral cancer reconstruction

An important role for the prosthodontist is supervisory. Patients requesting full mouth reconstructions often need the input and expertise of several practitioners across a range of dentistry. It’s the prosthodontist who reviews proposals, makes referrals, and organizes care management.

If you entertain the idea of the dental mastermind, you could do worse than choose a prosthodontist. The expanse of their training, plus their certification by the American Board of Prosthodontists, make them imminently more qualified than a general dentist who just took a weekend course. Prosthodontists are also the preferred dentist of third parties, who may be overseeing the dental care of an older parent or of a child with special needs.

Contact our expert in periodontics in LA today.

Is Oral Surgery Required for Treating Periodontal Disease?

Pure beauty

There are two types of gum disease. Gingivitis, the term most are more familiar with, refers to mild gum disease. The second type, periodontitis, is more severe. Periodontitis occurs when bacteria and other particles form in the mouth, which results in gum-damaging plaque when not brushed away. Fortunately, periodontists have a few different ways of eliminating this disease, and may need to resort to surgery.

At home

The main goal of gum disease treatment is to control the infection. Any ways your Los Angeles periodontist employs in office is best supplemented by care at home. Regular and attentive brushing is necessary, and you will be required to eliminate any related bad habits, such as smoking.

Deep cleaning

A scaling and root planning is a common procedure used to restore the health and integrity of the gums. Scaling involves removing tartar above and below the gum line, while root planing gets rid of rough spots on the roots of the tooth where germs collect. This process may require a laser. The result is less bleeding, swelling, and discomfort.

Anti-inflammatory medications may also be prescribed at this time to reduce infection. If these previously described tactics are unsuccessful, your oral surgeon in Los Angeles may recommend a flap surgery or a bone and tissue graft.