Los Angeles Dental Arts
Theodore Burnett, DDS
General & Cosmetic Dentist located in Westchester, Los Angeles, CA
Gum disease, or periodontal disease, is the leading cause of tooth loss, but it’s also a highly preventable, and reversible condition. If you notice tenderness along your gumlines and bleeding when you brush or floss, don’t waste any time: Call Theodore Burnett, DDS, at Los Angeles Dental Arts in Los Angeles to get treated and preserve your natural teeth. Or, you can book an appointment online.
Gum Disease Q&A
What is gum disease?
Gum disease, or periodontal disease, is a disease caused by bacteria in dental plaque. To fight the bacteria, your body’s immune system kicks in and releases substances that cause your gums to become inflamed and bleed.
What are the stages and symptoms of gum disease?
Gum disease starts out innocently enough, but left unchecked, can lead to serious dental problems. Here’s a look at the progression of gum disease:
As bacteria builds up in the plaque on your teeth, especially along your gumline, your body works to protect itself against the bacteria. That's the first stage of gum disease, known as gingivitis. The principal signs of gingivitis are inflammation and bleeding in your gums.
If the gum disease progresses, your gums begin to detach from your teeth, which creates pockets where more bacteria-filled plaque can build up. These pockets are hard to reach with regular brushing and, left unchecked, cause damage to the bone and fibers that hold your teeth in place.
During the periodontitis stage of gum disease, the inflammation and bleeding in your gums become more pronounced, and your gums may begin to recede.
If your gum disease isn’t treated during the earlier stages and continues unabated, the connective bones and tissue that hold your teeth deteriorate, and your teeth begin to come loose and shift.
The good news is that Dr. Burnett can treat gum disease at any stage to try and avoid tooth loss, but, as with any disease, the earlier the treatment, the better the results.
How is gum disease treated?
The importance of addressing gum disease in its early stages can't be understated. If you catch the disease early enough, sometimes an aggressive cleaning is all it takes to halt the gum disease in its tracks and reverse the damage.
If Dr. Burnett can't easily treat the gum disease with a deep cleaning, he turns to more aggressive, yet non-surgical, options, including:
- Laser cleaning therapy
- Scaling and root planing
If your gum disease has caused significant damage to your tissue and bone, Dr. Burnett sits down with you to review surgical options that may help you avoid tooth loss.
If you suspect your gums are in trouble, don’t delay, call Los Angeles Dental Arts right away, or book an appointment online.