Do you ever wonder what happens to that sticky, slimy film on your teeth when you don’t brush them before bed? That layer is called plaque, and it is made up of a mixture of dead skin cells from your gums, food particles, and bacteria from your mouth. Yuck! When plaque gets left on your teeth, it will start to collect, between your teeth, around the edges of your gums, and underneath them! If it’s not removed promptly, this plaque will begin irritating your gums and cause inflammation. This inflammation is called periodontitis, commonly referred to as gum disease. There is a huge range of very serious medical issues that gum disease can casue, which is why it is crucial to get treatment for gum disease early, before it causes damage to the bone surrounding your teeth. San Diego patients that are suffering from painful, bleeding, or swollen gums should call Dr. Beck today at (858) 635-6700. Make sure you also take a look at our Smile Gallery to see Dr. Beck’s work for yourself.
How to Get Started with Dr. Beck
When you call our office, you’ll always be greeted by one of our friendly and knowledgeable staff. We truly enjoy hearing from new patients, and we’re more than happy to talk with you about your questions and concerns. From there, we’ll schedule a time for you to come in and meet with Dr. Beck. During this meeting, we’ll discuss your medical history and any issues that you’re having with your gums. Dr. Beck will also perform a thorough examination of your mouth as she starts to develop your customized plan for gum disease treatment and discuss any questions or concerns you may have about how your oral health may be affecting your overall body health.
How Do You Get Gum Disease?
The problem all comes down to the bacteria that live in your mouth. There are billions of different types of bacteria (and other pathogens like viruses and fungus, double yuck!) that live in your mouth. Some of them are good and help to break down food and keep your teeth and gums healthy, but others can cause serious infections if they’re allowed to build up.
What happens with gum disease is that the bacteria collect on your teeth and form a sticky film called plaque. You’ve probably noticed this in the morning if you don’t brush your teeth at night. If plaque stays on your teeth, it starts to leach toxins into your gums and your body fights back in the form of inflammation.
Eventually, the inflammation can turn into bleeding or swollen gums. As this condition worsens, your gums will then start to pull away from your teeth (because they are coated with bacteria!) allowing the bacteria to continue to grow down the tooth root and close to the bone, which will slowly begin to soften and deteriote in response to these bacterial toxins.
Without gum disease treatment, San Diego patients can expect gum disease to eventually start to negatively affect other organs, like your kidneys, liver, pancreas, and even your heart and brain! The toxins from the bacteria can enter the bloodstream and get carried to these critical organs, where they are linked to heart disease and even Alzheimers.
What is Gum Disease Treatment?
San Diego patients that are suffering from gum disease have a few different treatment options.
- Deep cleaning – If you’re able to catch gum disease early, the treatment is a very deep and thorough cleaning of the teeth, gums, and the gum pockets. All of the plaque and tartar (plaque deposits) are scraped off of the teeth and the roots. This allows the gums to reattach to the teeth. Dr. Beck will also take x-rays to see if there is any bone loss.
- Surgery – Once periodontitis progresses too far, surgery is the only option for gum disease treatment. San Diego patients with gum disease sometimes have gum recession, so a gum graft or the pinhole technique is used to reattach the gums. Bone grafting is another part of gum disease treatment if there is advances bone loss.
- Periodontal maintenance – After the surgery, gum disease doesn’t just go away. Patients are still very much at risk of the disease coming back. That’s why patients with gum disease will need regular periodontal maintenance to prevent recurrence.
Why Work with Dr. Beck
Dr. Beck is one of the most well respected and in-demand periodontists in the entire country. She has been recognized locally and nationally for all of her work in the field. Not only is she native to San Diego, but she also completed the majority of her schooling here in Southern California at UCSD and UCLA. As a periodontist (a dentist that specializes in gums and their supporting structures), Dr. Beck has completed 3 more years training than other general dentists to specialize in treating diseases of the gums. She even has a Masters degree in biomedical science, which means she on top of all the most current techniques to keep you in optimal health! We also offer a wide range of customized sedation options to make sure that you’re comfortable throughout your entire visit.
If you’re hoping to work with one of the premier gum specialists in the world, then get in touch with Dr. Beck at her San Diego office at (858) 635-6700.