Periodontal Treatment in San Diego

Gum disease is a common phenomenon, affecting almost half of all adults. But that doesn’t mean it’s nothing to worry about. When left untreated, gum disease can ruin your smile and go on to cause serious health conditions. There are several stages of gum disease to be on the lookout for. Your treatment may vary depending on which stage you’re in.

Hygienist uses laser therapy to keep teeth healthy


Risk Factors for Gum Disease

Factors that make you more likely to develop gum disease include:

  • Smoking
  • Diabetes
  • Stress
  • Medication that reduces saliva production
  • Overall health conditions (AIDS, cancer, etc.)
  • Genetic susceptibility

If you’re concerned about your risk for gum disease, don’t hesitate to contact our office at 760-940-2273 or to bring it up at your appointment. Dr. Henninger can work with you to develop an oral hygiene routine that lowers your risk.

How Do We Treat Gum Disease?

Gum disease is treated by removing all of the bacteria underneath your gums and making them less likely to be infected again. There are several ways to treat gum disease depending on the severity of your case.

Deep Cleanings

Deep cleanings, also known as scaling and root planing, are a treatment method that can clear out periodontal disease so your gums can heal. 

The first part of the procedure is called scaling. Your hygienist will remove all the plaque that’s hardened above and below your gumline for a fresh start. Then, during root planing, they’ll smooth the surface of your tooth roots so your gums can reattach to your teeth and to lessen the likelihood of bacteria attacking again.

Laser Therapy

While this procedure can be performed with traditional tools, our office utilizes the advantages of laser technology. Lasers make scaling and root planing quicker, easier, and promote healing so your smile will be better, faster. 

Laser therapy nearly eliminates the need for tools that poke and scrape, making your treatment less painful.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is gum disease contagious?

Gum disease itself isn’t contagious, but the bacteria that cause the disease are. People aren’t born with the tooth decay-causing bacteria — they acquire them from sharing saliva with other people. 

It’s nearly impossible to avoid contact with these bacteria, as they’re transferred by sharing straws or cups, using the same silverware, and kissing. Even if you avoid giving the bacteria to your child, they may get it later in life.

Because of this, the best way to avoid getting gum disease is to take good care of your oral hygiene. Gum disease most often develops due to a lack of oral care. A consistent and thorough oral hygiene routine can significantly reduce your risk of gum disease.

Can gum disease lead to heart disease?

There’s a correlation between gum disease and heart disease. Researchers are yet to find a clear cause-and-effect between the two conditions, but it’s clear there’s a connection between them. 

Other diseases and health conditions with a connection to gum disease include:

  • Osteoporosis
  • Respiratory Disease
  • Cancer
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis

While it’s not clear if gum disease causes these diseases or vice versa, taking good care of your oral hygiene can help save your smile. 

Can periodontal disease be stopped?

Periodontal disease can be stopped if you don’t let it go for too long without treatment. Gingivitis and early stages of periodontal disease are easily reversible with professional help, but advanced periodontitis can be more difficult to treat.

It’s possible for advanced gum disease to be treated, though. You’ll likely have to undergo more procedures, such as gum grafting and other surgeries to restore the appearance of your teeth and to protect your teeth from further harm.

After your professional gum disease treatment, it’s important to develop a thorough and regular oral hygiene routine. This helps reduce the likelihood of gum disease returning.

How does periodontal disease develop?

The way periodontal disease most often develops is through a lack of oral hygiene. Plaque forms on your teeth every day and it needs to be cleared away so it doesn’t harden. Once plaque hardens, it becomes tartar or calculus, which is more difficult to remove.

When plaque hardens under your gumline, it can cause significant damage and results in your gums pulling away from your teeth. If the condition isn’t turned around while it’s still gingivitis, it will develop into periodontal disease.

Will periodontal disease go away?

Periodontal disease doesn’t go away on its own. The disease requires professional dental help to recover from because you can’t clean under your own gum line. We have the tools and expertise to not only treat your periodontal disease but to do it without pain.

Even after professional treatment, recovering from periodontal disease depends on your ability to care for your oral health. If you continue to neglect your oral hygiene, periodontal disease will likely return and threaten your smile again.

There are three main stages of gum disease

  • Stage 1: Gingivitis
  • Stage 2: Periodontitis
  • Stage 3: Advanced Periodontitis

Stage 1: Gingivitis

When you neglect your oral hygiene, plaque buildup on your teeth can harden. This hardened plaque, called tartar or calculus, is difficult to remove at home and is often treated in a dental office.

The buildup of tartar around the gum line is called gingivitis. When they’re healthy, your gums appear pink — but with gingivitis, they’ll be red and swollen. Your gums will likely also bleed when you brush and floss your teeth.

At the gingivitis stage, periodontal health is easy to turn around. The bone and tissue that hold your teeth in place haven’t been affected yet, so we can easily treat you. After gingivitis therapy, brushing and flossing regularly can help prevent the return of the issue.

Stage 2: Periodontitis

Without treatment, gingivitis can progress into periodontitis. At this stage, irreversible damage to the fibers and bone that hold your teeth in place begins. Your gums begin to pull away from your teeth and form pockets that trap plaque and bacteria, further worsening the condition.

You’ll need professional dental treatment to recover from periodontitis. We can perform scaling and root planing in order to help your oral health get back on track.

Stage 3: Advanced Periodontitis

In the final stage of gum disease, professional dental treatment is unavoidable if you want to save your teeth. As the pockets around your teeth deepen, your teeth may begin to loosen and shift around. Eventually, they’ll fall out if you don’t take action.

Advanced gum disease can also affect your overall health. Some of the health effects of advanced periodontal disease include diabetes, heart disease, and pre-term birth for pregnant women.

Contact Us for Fast, Effective Periodontal Treatment Periodontal disease is reversible with the help of our experienced staff. We’ll ensure your procedure is as pain-free as possible and we’ll help you on your way to a beautiful and healthy smile. To learn more, contact our office by calling 760-940-2273 or by filling out our online contact form, available on this page. We’ll be happy to talk to you about your oral health concerns and to schedule and appointment for you.

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