Gingivitis is the first and most common stage of gum disease. In this condition, the gums will become inflamed and swollen and may look discolored, but there is no permanent damage to the underlying tooth structure, and the disease can be completely reversed and eliminated.
However, if it is left untreated, gingivitis will progress into “periodontitis.” This condition is irreversible, but it can be controlled with proper periodontal care from a Modesto periodontist. In periodontitis, the bacteria infecting the gums will begin to destroy the gum tissue and the underlying structure of the teeth, resulting in more serious symptoms.
The final stage of periodontal disease is “advanced periodontitis.” The support structures of your teeth will be mostly destroyed, and you may begin to lose multiple teeth. While it is sometimes possible to save your teeth, it may be more practical to remove your remaining teeth and replace them with dentures or dental implants.
Early-stage gum disease (gingivitis) is usually characterized by gum swelling, inflammation, and discoloration, as well as bleeding when brushing or flossing. You may also experience bad breath (halitosis) that won’t go away.
As the disease progresses to the second stage (periodontitis), common side effects include tooth sensitivity, gum recession (which makes your teeth look longer), sore and tender gums, and excessive gum bleeding.
The final stage of gum disease is characterized by severe symptoms like teeth shifting or loosening, a change in how your teeth fit together, pain when chewing, and pus-forming between your teeth and gums. You may even lose one or more of your teeth, which is why it is so important to schedule a visit with our Modesto office for periodontal treatment as soon as possible. And don't forget to ask about our dental savings membership plan to see if you can save on treatment!
Coming in for a preventive dental appointment every six months will decrease your likelihood of developing dental issues. These visits will give you peace of mind that your teeth are strong and healthy, and our Modesto team will track your oral development over time.
Regularly checking in with a dentist near you ensures that we can keep an eye on your overall oral health and well-being, and avoid issues like gum disease and tooth decay. In the long run, this saves you both time and money.
We’ll clean, polish, and buff your teeth during every visit at our office. This helps prevent and reverse the buildup of stains and keeps your smile shiny, bright, and healthy.
Periodontal disease affects your health in lots of different ways. Here are just a few examples of how gum disease interacts with the rest of your body, and can lead to other future health problems:
So, periodontal disease can have a huge range of effects on your overall health. But how do we combat gum disease at Downey Park Family Dentistry? Let’s find out.
Scaling and root planing is usually the first step in treating mild-to-moderate cases of periodontal disease. In this procedure, your hygienist will numb your mouth, then clean half of your mouth using special dental tools that will remove plaque and tartar from between your teeth and your gums. Then, your hygienist will smooth out the roots of your teeth, which helps remove periodontal “pockets” where bacteria collect.
You will be sent home from our Modesto practice to recover. You may also be prescribed antibiotics and other medications, which you should take as directed. You’ll come back in a week or two to have the other half of your mouth treated. Deep cleaning can sometimes be enough to reverse gingivitis, or halt the progression of more advanced cases of gum disease.
Gum flap surgery may be required for more severe cases of gum disease. In this treatment, our periodontal specialist will fold back your gum tissue using surgical tools. This gives him access to the roots of your teeth, which he will clean, sanitize, and disinfect. He will also eliminate any periodontal pockets below the roots of your teeth. Then, he will fold your gums back into place, and suture them to ensure they heal properly.
Depending on the situation, you may also need bone grafting as part of the gum flap surgery treatment process. Gum grafting may also be recommended after treatment to reverse gum recession.
Gum grafting is used to treat receding gums due to gum disease. In this procedure, your periodontal specialist will take oral tissue, usually harvested from the roof of your mouth, and then suture this tissue in place around your receding gums. Over time, the graft will heal and become part of your natural gum tissue. This helps lock the tooth in place, eliminates sensitivity, and prevents future tooth loss due to gum recession.
Not on their own. Once your gums start to recede, they're gone for good. However, proper periodontal care can halt the progression of gum recession. And with gum grafts at Downey Park Family Dentistry, you can restore the missing gum material, and restore the natural beauty and functionality of your teeth and gums.
Dr. Herrera is a Periodontist and Diplomate of the American Board of Periodontology. He completedhis Doctor of Dental Surgery in Brazil and at the School of Dentistry, University of Detroit Mercy. Dr.Herrera received his Masters and residency training in Periodontics at University of North Carolina atChapel Hill; PhD in Pharmacology at the University of Sao Paulo, Brazil; and Post-Doc training at the Forsyth Institute (Harvard affiliate) funded by the US Army. Dr Herrera has published several research articles and book chapters focusing on the systemic impact of periodontal disease, such as in diabetes and cardiovascular disease. He has served as peer reviewer for scientific journals in his field, and has received several awards, including AAP Educator Award from the American Academy of Periodontology Foundation.
Dr. Herrera’s patients can expect comprehensive care using the best evidence-based dentistry in a humane and ethical way. You will quickly notice his passion for dentistry and patient care. In his spare time, he enjoys hiking, watching sports, going to concerts, cooking, and traveling.