Understanding Periodontal Disease

by Rana Baroudi

Dr. Baroudi is a Board Certified Periodontist. She has successfully passed the American Board of Periodontology oral and written examinations covering all phases of periodontal disease, its treatment and dental implants. She is also an Associate Clinical Professor of Periodontology at UCSF where she enjoys teaching and lecturing on a bi-monthly basis.

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Periodontal disease, also known as gum disease, is a chronic inflammatory condition that affects the tissues supporting the teeth. It is a common oral health issue that can lead to tooth loss if not adequately managed. This article will delve into the causes, symptoms, and management strategies for periodontal disease.

What is Periodontal Disease?

Periodontal disease encompasses a range of conditions that affect the gums, bone, and other tissues surrounding the teeth. The most common types of periodontal diseases are gingivitis and periodontitis. Gingivitis is a mild form of gum disease that causes inflammation of the gums, while periodontitis is a more severe form that can lead to the destruction of the supporting structures of the teeth, including the bone.

Causes of Periodontal Disease

    1. Poor Oral Hygiene: The primary cause of periodontal disease is poor oral hygiene, which allows plaque to build up on the teeth. Plaque is a sticky film of bacteria that releases toxins, causing inflammation and irritation of the gums.

    1. Smoking and Tobacco Use: Smoking and tobacco use can reduce blood flow to the gums, impairing their ability to heal and fight infection. This increases the risk of developing periodontal disease.

    1. Genetics: Genetics can play a role in an individual’s susceptibility to periodontal disease. Some people may be more prone to gum disease due to their genetic makeup.

    1. Medical Conditions: Certain medical conditions, such as diabetes and autoimmune disorders, can increase the risk of developing periodontal disease.

    1. Hormonal Changes: Hormonal changes, such as those experienced during pregnancy, can make the gums more sensitive and prone to inflammation.

Symptoms of Periodontal Disease

    1. Bleeding Gums: One of the most common symptoms of periodontal disease is bleeding gums, particularly during brushing and flossing.

    1. Swollen and Red Gums: The gums may appear swollen, red, and tender to the touch.

    1. Bad Breath: Persistent bad breath or a bad taste in the mouth can be a sign of periodontal disease.

    1. Loose Teeth: As the disease progresses, the teeth may become loose or shift position.

    1. Receding Gums: The gums may pull away from the teeth, creating pockets that can trap bacteria and further contribute to the disease.

Management of Periodontal Disease

    1. Regular Dental Checkups: Regular dental checkups and cleanings are essential for preventing and managing periodontal disease. The dentist can remove plaque and tartar that cannot be removed with regular brushing and flossing.

    1. Good Oral Hygiene: Maintaining good oral hygiene practices, such as brushing and flossing daily, can help prevent the onset of periodontal disease.

    1. Quit Smoking and Tobacco Use: Quitting smoking and tobacco use can significantly reduce the risk of developing periodontal disease.

    1. Proper Nutrition: Eating a balanced diet and getting adequate nutrition can support overall oral health and reduce the risk of periodontal disease.

    1. Treatment Options: If periodontal disease is already present, various treatment options are available. These may include scaling and root planing (deep cleaning), antibiotics, and in severe cases, surgery.

When faced with periodontal disease, seeking the expertise of a qualified periodontist is crucial in addressing the condition effectively. Dr. Rana Baroudi, a renowned periodontist based in San Jose, CA, is an expert in the field of periodontology and implantology, specializing in the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of periodontal disease.

Dr. Baroudi and her team employ the latest techniques and technologies to provide patients with the best possible care. With a commitment to personalized treatment, Dr. Baroudi takes the time to understand each patient’s unique needs, ensuring they receive the most effective and comfortable care possible.

One of the first steps in addressing periodontal disease is a comprehensive evaluation. Dr. Baroudi performs a detailed assessment of the patient’s oral health, including an examination of the gums, teeth, and supporting structures. This allows her to accurately diagnose the condition and develop a personalized treatment plan tailored to the patient’s specific needs.

In cases of mild to moderate periodontal disease, Dr. Baroudi may recommend non-surgical treatments such as scaling and root planing. This procedure involves the careful removal of plaque and tartar from below the gum line, followed by smoothing the root surfaces to encourage the gums to reattach to the teeth. In conjunction with scaling and root planing, Dr. Baroudi may also prescribe antimicrobial agents to help control bacterial infection.

For patients with more advanced periodontal disease, surgical interventions may be necessary. Dr. Baroudi is skilled in various surgical techniques designed to treat periodontal disease, including pocket reduction surgery, gum grafting, and bone grafting. These procedures aim to eliminate infection, restore lost tissue, and enhance the stability of the teeth.

In addition to treating periodontal disease, Dr. Baroudi is also an expert in dental implants. For patients who have lost teeth due to periodontal disease, dental implants can provide a permanent, natural-looking solution. Dr. Baroudi utilizes the latest implant technology to ensure optimal results, helping patients restore their smiles and regain full functionality.

Prevention is a key component of managing periodontal disease. Dr. Baroudi emphasizes the importance of regular dental check-ups and cleanings, as well as good oral hygiene practices at home. She provides patients with the necessary tools and information to maintain optimal oral health, preventing the recurrence of periodontal disease.

In conclusion, periodontal disease is a serious condition that requires expert care. Dr. Rana Baroudi, a skilled periodontist in San Jose, CA, offers a comprehensive range of services designed to address periodontal disease and restore patients’ oral health. With a commitment to personalized, compassionate care, Dr. Baroudi and her team are dedicated to helping patients achieve and maintain healthy gums, teeth, and smiles.