Whittier CA

Periodontics

Periodontal Treatment in Whitter, CA

Periodontal disease, also known more commonly as gum disease, is the leading cause of tooth loss.

The disease is caused by bacteria that induce an inflammatory response within the gum tissue. If you have a history of periodontal disease, maintaining good oral health is essential to retaining your teeth.

The friendly, experienced team at Dentists of Whittier can help you prevent the disease from progressing.

What Causes Periodontal Disease?

Your mouth is full of bacteria. Your oral microbiome – or the ecosystem in your mouth – contains healthy bacteria that protect your mouth from dental diseases. Unfortunately, there are also unhealthy bacteria that can harm your teeth and gums, causing dental decay and gum disease.

The harmful bacteria feed on sugars, and as they eat, they release acids that erode the enamel leading to decay. The combination of harmful bacteria and acids can also irritate your delicate gum tissue.

Bacteria are especially prolific in the plaque that builds up on the teeth. If not removed with daily brushing and flossing, the plaque builds up and eventually calcifies into a substance called tartar. The tartar is impossible to remove with a toothbrush or floss. Only your dental hygienist can remove it.

As plaque and tartar build up, the gum tissue is more and more irritated, resulting in:

  • Bleeding gums
  • Bright red gums (instead of a healthy pink)
  • Sore gums
  • Gum infection
  • Persistent bad breath

Eventually, the gum tissue tries, in essence, to get away from what’s irritating it – the plaque and tartar. However, since these substances are on your teeth, that means the gums recede away from your teeth, leaving deep pockets around the tooth where even more plaque, tartar, bacteria, and food particles can build up.

Over time, as the gums recede, so does the bone around the teeth. This results in loose teeth and, eventually, tooth loss.

Periodontist Whittier CA
Periodontist Near Me Whittier CA

How Is Periodontal Disease in Whittier Treated?

The first phase of gum disease is called gingivitis, and it is reversible. Once the disease has progressed beyond this phase, it is no longer reversible, but it is arrestable. We can take steps to stop it from progressing.

Deep Dental Cleaning (Scaling and Root Planing)

A deep dental cleaning is done in quadrants (upper right, lower right, lower left, and lower right teeth). Each quadrant is done separately, though we can sometimes do two quadrants in one visit. A deep dental cleaning is done in quadrants (upper right, lower right, lower left, and lower right teeth). Each quadrant is done separately, though we can sometimes do two quadrants in one visit.

We start by numbing the teeth and gum tissue. Our hygienist then uses specialized dental tools to scrape off the plaque and tartar, going below the gum line to clean the root surfaces, as well.

If necessary, we may place antibiotic ointment in certain gum pockets or prescribe a round of oral antibiotics to help kill some of the excess bacteria in your oral microbiome.

Maintenance Cleanings

By removing the plaque and bacteria, we can help your gums regain their health. In some cases, the gum pockets tighten back up to acceptable depths, and we can prevent further loss of bone or any of your teeth.

For this to happen, though, we need to keep you on a strict dental hygiene maintenance schedule. Periodontal patients typically come in for maintenance cleanings every three to four months. Because they tend to have higher levels of bacteria, waiting any longer than that can result in disease progression.

We are a team in this endeavor to protect your oral health. Therefore, in addition to keeping your maintenance cleaning appointments, proper home care is essential. We will provide you with specialized instructions to ensure proper brushing and flossing techniques. Additionally, because you may have experienced some gum and bone loss, you may need to add additional tools to your at-home arsenal against gum disease. We’ll recommend certain products and explain how to use them to ensure your success.

Prevention: Our Ultimate Goal

The reason we urge patients to see their Whittier periodontal dentist often is because it is one of the ways we can prevent dental diseases. Getting a cleaning every six months – in addition to daily home care – can help you prevent gum disease and potential tooth loss.

But even if you’ve already been diagnosed with periodontal disease, all hope is not lost! We are here to help you arrest the disease and maintain good oral health. Through regular education and encouragement, we hope to be a source of comfort and inspiration on your dental health journey.

Do you have sore, bleeding gums? We want to help! Contact us to schedule your comprehensive oral evaluation.

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