Gum disease is the result of plaque and tartar that have been allowed to accumulate and cause decay. There are stages of gum disease, and the earlier it is caught and treated, the better your chances of avoiding serious health concerns.
The first stage of gum disease is called gingivitis. It is characterized by red, swollen gums that tend to bleed easily during regular brushing and flossing. At this point, gum disease is highly treatable and reversible. In some cases, better oral hygiene practices at home, along with more frequent professional dental cleanings can effectively treat gingivitis. For others, scaling and root planing may be necessary. Scaling involves our West Hollywood dentist scraping all the plaque and tartar away from above and below the gumline. Root planing involves the dentist removing the rough bacterial deposits that form at the root of each tooth.
Periodontitis is the next stage of gum disease, and it is characterized by deep periodontal pockets, bleeding gums, and loose teeth. Sometimes scaling and root planing is able to treat periodontitis, but surgery is often necessary. Flap surgery is when our gum treatment dentist in West Hollywood surgically lifts back the gums to remove the plaque and tartar. If there are any bone irregularities, they are smoothed out. In other cases, bone or gum graft surgery is required to restore the tissue loss that occurs during this stage of gum disease.