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Periodontics & Periodontal Treatment in Northridge, CA

A Healthy Smile Starts With a Healthy Foundation

Gum tissue is the foundation of a healthy smile and when your gums are suffering from periodontal (gum) disease, it can endanger your smile and even your overall health. To protect your smile and your health, you need to care for your gums, which is why our Northridge, CA dentists offer periodontics and periodontal disease treatment. Read on to learn more about gum disease and how you can protect the health of your smile’s foundation and the rest of your body. 

What is Periodontal Disease?

Periodontal disease, more commonly known as gum disease, refers to the infection of the soft tissue and oral structures that support your teeth. Periodontal disease is often caused by the buildup of plaque and tartar

Plaque and tartar stick to your teeth and gums and usually accumulate in places where it’s hard to reach, including beneath the gum line. The bacteria in these substances feed on the sugars in the buildup, produce acid as waste, and attack the hard and soft tissues in your smile. 

Bacterial build-up isn’t the only cause of periodontal disease however. Other causes of gum disease include: 

  • Diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, respiratory disease, and osteoporosis
  • Poor oral hygiene 
  • Sugar-rich diets
  • Tobacco products
  • Clenching and grinding your teeth (bruxism)
  • Certain medications
  • Malnutrition
  • Stress
  • Genetics
  • Pregnancy 

Signs of Periodontal Disease

Periodontal disease is easy to treat and reverse in the early stages, but once it progresses, the damage becomes more pronounced and harder to control. Recognizing the signs in the early stages and seeking help then results in more effective periodontal treatment. 

Common signs of periodontal disease include:

  • Loose or separating teeth
  • Bite changes
  • Partial dentures or bridges not fitting correctly
  • Defective dental fillings 
  • Persistent bad breath 
  • Metal taste in your mouth
  • Pus between gums and teeth
  • A sore that does not improve after two weeks
  • Tender or swollen gums
  • Bleeding gums
  • Gums that recede or pull away from your teeth

If you’re experiencing any of the above symptoms, don’t hesitate to call our Northridge dental office by dialing (818) 886-3500. The sooner periodontal treatment is administered, the better your oral health will be. 

Stages of Periodontal Disease

Periodontal disease occurs in stages that become more destructive the more they advance. The stages are as follows:

  1. Gingivitis – The first stage and mildest form of gum disease is usually characterized by minor tenderness, swelling, or redness in the gums and minor bleeding when you clean your teeth. At this stage, the infection and any damage is reversible with proper oral hygiene and professional regularly scheduled cleanings and exams
  2. Initial Periodontitis – This stage is usually characterized by bleeding gums when you brush or floss and gum recession, although you may not notice any pain. Even though the damage sets in, it can still be stopped with deep cleaning and proper oral hygiene. 
  3. Moderate Periodontitis – Bearing many similarities to the initial stage, moderate periodontitis involves more advanced damage to the ligaments and bones attaching your teeth to your gums. Additionally, the infection is now capable of entering your bloodstream and spreading to other parts of your body. 
  4. Advanced Periodontitis – The most destructive stage of gum disease often causes noticeably bad breath, pain, pus-filled abscesses, and makes permanent tooth loss a much more likely occurrence. At this stage, you’ll require frequent deep cleaning sessions and will likely need to undergo surgery to try and save your teeth.  

Health Problems Associated With Periodontal Disease

Periodontal disease isn’t just a threat to your oral health. If left untreated, gum disease can contribute to other overall health issues, such as:

  • Heart Disease – Bacteria’s ability to enter your bloodstream at gum disease’s more advanced stages can travel to your heart, causing inflammation and damaging the valves. 
  • Diabetes – Bacterial infection interferes with your body’s ability to process sugars, which can lead to an increase in blood sugar levels and a decrease in insulin. 
  • Stroke – Bacteria in the mouth can travel through the arteries, blocking the proper flow of blood. 
  • Cancer – According to John Hopkins Medicine, severe gum disease increases the risk of cancer by up to 24 percent. This is likely due to the increased, chronic inflammation caused by your immune system constantly trying to fight the disease. The resulting reduced effectiveness of your immune system makes cancer more likely. 
  • Alzheimer’s –  Fusobacterium nucleatum is a bacteria commonly associated with gum disease. This bacteria inhibits the healthy production of microglial cells, which are vital to keeping the brain healthy. This may be a contributing factor to Alzheimer’s.   

Possible Periodontal Treatment & Prevention Options

Routine Cleanings & Exams

The most basic step in periodontal treatment and prevention is routine cleanings and exams. The regular dental cleanings Dr. Lau provides can remove bacteria laden plaque and tartar, helping to prevent disease from setting in. If they discover signs of periodontal disease, Dr. Lau can prescribe individualized treatment.  

Scaling and Root Planing

Scaling and root planing refers to a two-step deep cleaning process where Dr. Lau will use small handheld tools to remove excess plaque and tartar. The plaque is gently scraped away from your teeth, gums, and below the gum line. Afterwards, the roots of your teeth are planed, or smoothed, to remove pockets. This discourages any further growth of bacteria and helps the gums reattach to the bone. 

Antibiotics

Antibiotics are medications that fight bacterial infections and typically come in two forms: oral and topical. Oral antibiotics come in the form of a pill, while topical antibiotics are applied to the affected area. Antibiotics used in combination with other procedures can increase the effectiveness of your periodontal disease treatment. 

Pocket Reduction

Pocket reduction is a deep cleaning and surgical process similar to root planing and scaling, except it’s usually reserved for more advanced cases. During pocket reduction, Dr. Lau will gently pull your gums away from the roots and bones before removing bacterial buildup and diseased gum tissue. 

The bones and roots will be smoothed and reshaped to help prevent bacteria from accumulating there in the future. Then, Dr. Lau will reattach the gum tissue back onto the bone with sutures in a way that reduces the depth of the pockets between your gums and your teeth.

Frequently Asked Questions

Maintain Your Smile & Health With Periodontal Treatment

Mid-Valley Dental Care is here to help you restore your smile and protect your oral and overall health from periodontal disease. The Doctors Lau offer periodontal treatment services to patients from Northridge and surrounding areas Granada Hills, Winnetka, and Chatsworth, CA.

To learn more about possible treatments and prevention methods for periodontal disease, contact our Northridge dental office by dialing (818) 886-3500. You can also fill out our contact form, and one of our friendly team members will get back to you shortly.

Mid-Valley Dental Care

8815 Reseda Blvd.
Northridge, CA 91324

Office Hours

Monday
7:30am – 6pm
Tuesday
8am – 6pm
Wednesday
7:30am – 6pm
Thursday
8am – 6pm
Friday
7:30am – 4pm
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