When it comes to maintaining your oral health and preventing periodontal gum disease, educating yourself and practicing proper oral care habits can go a long way. Yuki Lu, DDS, and the expert team at Pearl Dentistry in West Covina, California, have extensive experience in preventing, managing, and treating periodontal gum diseases. To learn more, use the online scheduling feature or call the office today to book your first appointment.

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What is periodontal gum disease?

Proper brushing and flossing habits are essential to maintaining your oral health throughout your lifetime. Periodontal disease occurs when bacteria-trapping plaque starts to build up in the spaces between your teeth and gums, known as periodontal pockets. These pockets form communities of bacteria called biofilms, which can cause infection, inflammation, and tenderness of your gums. This is called gingivitis. During this phase, no irreversible gum disease has taken place. 

However, if left untreated, gingivitis can develop into periodontitis, a more serious condition. With periodontitis, the plaque-filled pockets can grow, eventually creating larger pockets that pull your gums away from your teeth. These pockets can attract debris and become infected. Over time, this can lead to the destruction of your gums and connective tissues, eventually causing permanent damage to your gums and teeth.

For this reason, Dr. Lu emphasizes early treatment of potential gum disease before it has a chance to become a much more serious issue. 

What are the symptoms of periodontal disease?

With gingivitis, you may notice that your gums appear inflamed and bleed easily during brushing or flossing. As it progresses toward periodontal disease, you may notice other symptoms, including:

  • Bad breath
  • Swollen gums
  • Red gums
  • Receding gums
  • Changes in the alignment of your teeth

Eventually, as the connective tissues of your teeth become damaged, your teeth can become loose and fall out. In fact, periodontal disease is the leading cause of tooth loss among American adults.

In addition, bacteria associated with periodontal disease can enter your bloodstream and cause systemic problems, including heart disease. Dr. Lu focuses on preventing and treating periodontal diseases in order to protect the whole-body health of her patients.

What treatments are available for periodontal disease?

Unfortunately, roughly 80% of Americans have some form of periodontal disease. The good news is that you can take steps to both reduce your chance of developing periodontal disease and treat it if it has started to develop. Dr. Lu assesses each of her patients using periodontal charts, a method used to measure the depth of periodontal pockets. If you register above a four on the chart, it implies that there is a potential problem that needs to be addressed. 

Often the best way to protect yourself against developing periodontal disease is to practice proper brushing and flossing habits. Dr. Lu focuses on working with her patients to educate them on proper technique and the importance of preventing periodontal disease in the first place. In addition, she utilizes the advanced Perio Protect Method® to deliver bacteria-fighting peroxide deep into your gums to fight the development of bacterial pockets in a non-invasive and convenient manner. 

If periodontal disease does develop, osseous surgery can serve to remove decayed and diseased portions of your gums and bones in order to restore your oral health. Furthermore, osseous surgery can serve to remove decayed and diseased portions of your gums and bones so that the gum tissue can reattach to strong bone.

To learn more about periodontal disease and how you can protect your oral health, use the online booking feature or call the office today to schedule your first appointment.