Over time, with poor brushing and flossing habits, the bacteria in plaque can accumulate, destroying your gum tissue and sometimes even lead to tooth loss. At his San Mateo County practice in Belmont and Menlo Park, California, experienced dentist Dr. Alok Arora, DMD, diagnoses and treats periodontal disease, also known as gum disease. If you’re concerned about the health of your gums, call or schedule an appointment online today.
When you come in for an appointment, Dr. Arora performs an exam to determine if you have periodontal disease, and if so how advanced it is and what forms of treatment are necessary.
Signs and symptoms of gum disease include:
Dr. Arora asks about your symptoms, measures your gums, takes X-rays to measure bone loss, examines sensitive teeth around your gumline, and look for signs of gum disease.
It’s necessary to determine whether you have gingivitis or periodontitis. Many people think gingivitis is synonymous with gum disease, but it’s actually the milder, earlier form where your gums are inflamed. However, gingivitis can and often does progress into periodontitis if left untreated.
Periodontitis is a more serious diagnosis than gingivitis and requires additional treatment. If you have periodontitis, your gums will be very irritated and inflamed. You’re at risk of your bone tissue becoming infected, your gums receding, and, if the disease progresses further, losing teeth.
If you have gingivitis, Dr. Arora advises you on improving your oral hygiene habits and diet, which may reverse the condition by preventing the formation of bacteria in your mouth. He also recommends one or two regular cleanings with his hygienist, Samantha Strong. These are similar to what you would receive at a normal cleaning and combat the buildup of plaque and tartar.
Periodontitis requires more serious treatment. Dr. Arora performs a special periodontal deep cleaning, called a “scaling and root planning,” to remove tartar, plaque, and toxins and allow your gums to heal.
If your gums do not heal after scaling and root planning, Dr. Arora might refer you to a periodontist who specializes in the gums and supporting bones and may perform surgery.
In addition to following good oral hygiene habits and reducing your intake of foods and beverages that cause bacteria to build up, Dr. Arora recommends you come in for periodontal cleaning appointments four times a year if have gum disease. This cleaning schedule ensures you’re regularly removing plaque and tartar before it can become a problem and also gives Dr. Arora a chance to check on your gum health.
To schedule a periodontal checkup with Dr. Alok Arora, DMD, call or schedule an appointment online today at either the Belmont or Menlo Park offices.