in Modesto

The Importance Of Periodontal Care

If you think that you may have periodontal (gum) disease, you need to get help from a qualified Modesto dentist like Dr. Corey Acree right away. Early intervention is essential for controlling gum disease, saving your teeth, and restoring your oral health. Learn more below, or contact us now for a consultation.

What to Expect

What Is Periodontal Disease?

Periodontal disease is a preventable oral health condition that is caused by improper oral hygiene. If you do not brush and floss regularly, bacteria-filled plaque and tartar will begin to build up between your teeth and gums.

Over time, the bacteria in plaque and tartar will infect your gums and attack them, resulting in periodontal disease. Initially, this only results in swelling and inflammation, but advanced stages of gum disease can cause irreversible damage to your teeth and gums.

periodontal disease
Doc checking patients teeth

Recognizing The Signs
Of Periodontal Disease

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!

Benefits of
Routine Visits

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. 

Avoid Common Issues

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.

Keep Your Smile Bright

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.

How Does Periodontal Disease Affect Overall Health?

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:

  • More difficult to bite, chew, and eat – Gum disease can cause pain, discomfort, loosening of the teeth, and tooth loss. This makes it harder for you to eat nutritious foods, which can impact your overall health and your quality of life in lots of different ways.

  • Higher risk of cardiovascular disease – Gum disease correlates with a higher risk of heart attack, stroke, and other cardiovascular events. If you don’t get treatment, you may be more likely to experience a life-threatening cardiovascular event.

  • Increased risk of oral cancer – Gum disease is associated with a higher risk of some kinds of oral cancer, like oral squamous cell carcinoma. Along with improving your oral health and your well-being, treatment for gum disease may reduce your risk of oral cancer.

  • Gum disease can interact with diabetes – People with diabetes are more likely to get gum disease. And once you have gum disease, it can interfere with your body’s ability to control blood sugar, which could worsen the health effects of diabetes.

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. 

periodontal disease

Scaling & Root Planing (Deep Cleaning)

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

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

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.

Can Receding Gums Grow Back?

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. Acree

Get to Know Dr. Herrera

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.

Book a Visit in Modesto Today!