By age 45, over 80% of Americans have gum disease. Yet, four out of five of them are unaware of it. The team at Ueno Center Dental Specialists in Campbell, California, serving San Jose, Cupertino, Los Gatos and surrounding areas, evaluates your teeth and gums for signs of gum disease at every appointment and finds treatments and solutions early to preserve your oral health. Book your next appointment at Ueno Center Dental Specialists by phone or online to get the care you and your gums need today.
Gum disease, also called periodontal disease, affects the gums and your jawbone. These structures share the task of holding your teeth in place. Additionally, your gums protect the roots of your teeth and shield them from bacteria and disease. However, bacteria can make its way under your gums after it forms pockets to cause swelling, soreness, and bone loss.
Gum disease comes in two main forms. They differ in their symptoms and their recommended courses of treatment.
Gingivitis is a mild form of gum disease that develops before the disease causes too much damage. If your dentist discovers it early and helps you reverse it, gingivitis may never progress into periodontitis. Symptoms of gingivitis include swollen, red gums that often bleed when you brush or floss. At this stage of gum disease, there is no bone loss.
All cases of periodontitis, the more serious form of gum disease, start with gingivitis. Periodontitis causes exposed roots and teeth that are loose and prone to falling out. With periodontitis, there is always bone loss, and it can be mild, moderate, or severe.
If you’re still in the early stages of gum disease, your treatment doesn’t require surgery. Scaling and root planing is the preferred treatment for early gum disease and is a non-surgical treatment. The team deep cleans your teeth by removing plaque and tartar from around and under your gum line (scaling) before smoothing your tooth’s root to encourage gum reattachment if there’s a pocket (root planing). In all cases, a local anesthetic is used for your comfort.
For more advanced cases, the team at Ueno Center Dental Specialists provides several cutting edge surgical procedures. After diagnosing the extent of your gum disease, they may recommend:
LANAP is a noninvasive procedure that uses a PerioLase® laser fiber to remove diseased tissue and bacteria from within the pockets between your gums and teeth. This is the only laser that is FDA approved to treat gum disease, and patients can go back to work the same day with minimal disruption to their daily life.
If you have gum recession, rather than using a scalpel or laser, your periodontist uses a “pinhole” in the gum tissue to loosen your recessed gum tissue. Once the tissue has been released, a donor material will be placed on the exposed roots and covered by your own gum tissue. With PST, there is no need for a scalpel or using your own tissue!
Gum grafting is the traditional surgical treatment for advanced gum disease or recession. Your periodontist harvests healthy gum tissue from the roof of your mouth or from your nearby gums to cover the areas of recession.
Whether you’ve never had gum disease or you already have gingivitis, taking preventive measures against gum disease helps you keep your oral health intact. To prevent gum disease, the team at Ueno Center Dental Specialists recommends:
The team at Ueno Center Dental Specialists helps you refine your habits to reduce your chances of developing or worsening gum disease.
To speak with a board-certified periodontist about gum disease and effective treatments, call Ueno Center Dental Specialists or request an appointment online today.