Periodontal Disease

Elvie Nathanson, DMD -  - Dentist

Gentle Care Family Dentistry

Elvie Nathanson, DMD

Dentist located in Chula Vista, CA

Periodontal Disease Specialist
About half the adult population in our country have some degree of periodontal disease. Dr. Elvie Nathanson, of Gentle Care Family Dentistry, located in Chula Vista, California and serving patients in neighboring National City, as well, offers expert treatment and prevention for periodontal disease.

Periodontal Disease Q & A

by Elvie Nathanson, DMD

What is periodontal disease?

Periodontal disease, also called gum disease, affects the gums surrounding teeth, causing them to become inflamed and infected and can eventually result in tooth loss. Gum disease occurs when tartar and plaque build up along the area where the gums meet the teeth and eventually spread to below the gum line. Bacteria that develop below the gums produce toxins that cause the gum tissue to shrink away from the teeth, allowing even more space for bacteria to invade. Left untreated, gums continue to pull away, exposing and weakening tooth roots.

What are the signs of periodontal disease?

Gum disease can cause different symptoms, including:

  • gums that bleed, especially when brushing teeth
  • red or swollen gums
  • tender gums
  • chronic bad breath
  • receding gums
  • tooth pain
  • loose teeth

Some people with gum disease don't have any symptoms at all until the final stages of the disease when teeth become weak and loose.

How can gum disease be treated?

The treatment used for gum disease depends on how far the disease has progressed. In some cases, deep cleaning called scaling and root planing can remove harmful bacteria buildup below the gum line and around the roots. However, if gum disease is advanced, gum grafting may be necessary to build up and restore the gum tissue around the tooth so it's protected from disease.

Are there steps I can take to prevent gum disease?

Yes. The best way to prevent gum disease is with regular and proper brushing and flossing as well as regular dental checkups. During your next checkup, ask the hygienist to watch while you brush your teeth and to provide tips about the best way to brush and floss. The hygienist can also often tell during your cleaning where your brushing and flossing efforts are falling short.

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