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What is Periodontal Disease?

periodontist Los AngelesWhat is periodontal disease? Periodontal disease, also called gum disease, is a condition in which the gums and other dental supportive structures are attacked by oral bacteria. Inflammation and deterioration result, and patients may suffer from tooth loss, systemic illness and other problems as the disease progresses.

Early Gum Disease Symptoms

Patients with early gum disease, known as gingivitis, may notice signs of inflammation such as swelling, redness and bleeding during brushing and flossing. The gums are likely to be tender at this stage, and patients may have foul breath due to toxins being produced by the oral bacteria.

Advanced Periodontitis Symptoms

As periodontal disease becomes advanced periodontitis, several new symptoms may emerge. Tooth loosening may occur, and teeth may actually fall out as their supporting structures disintegrate. When the bacteria attack the jaw, the bone may become smaller and less dense. The bacteria may enter the blood stream through the mouth at this stage, placing patients at risk of cardiovascular disease.

Periodontal Disease Treatments

What is periodontal disease treated with? Early gingivitis may be treated with antimicrobial mouthrinses and scaling and root planing to remove plaque, tartar and the bacteria that live there. When periodontitis becomes advanced, patients may require gum flap surgery or tissue grafting.

What is periodontal disease prognosis like? In many cases, early gingivitis can be reversed with treatment. Advanced periodontitis can often be stopped with timely care. At a consultation with our periodontist Los Angeles patients can learn more about this disease and the treatments used to stop and reverse it.

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