Dental Procedures

Periodontics (Laser)

What Causes Gum Disease?

Bacteria is the major cause of over 99% of gum problems, including Periodontal Disease. These bad Bacteria is the major cause of over 99% of gum problems, including Periodontal Disease.  These bacteria, if left to roam in your mouth, will turn into plaque – the sticky, whitish substance which later turns into the calcified substance of tartar.

Tartar buildup is a major problem, and is almost impossible to get rid of without professional cleanings at your check-ups.  If not addressed the tartar problem worsens and a bacterial infection develops that destroys the supporting structures which hold your teeth in place.  That bacterial infection is called periodontal disease, or periodontitis: the advanced form of gum disease.

There are two major stages of periodontal disease: Gingivitis and Periodontis. Gingivitis affects only the gums. It is a mild form of periodontal disease, and if properly treated may be reversed. Left untreated, gingivitis turns into periodontis. During this more destructive disease stage, bacteria penetrate into the deeper pockets of tissue where bone and membrane support your teeth, leading to tooth loss and serious health problems.

Research shows that 75% of Americans over the age of 40 have some type of gum disease. It is possible to have periodontal disease and not even know it because its symptoms are often painless. The best way to diagnose and prevent all types of gum disease is to visit us at Bakersfield Smile Design for your routine dental checkups.

Are You At-Risk?

You may be at risk for periodontal disease if you:

Do not practice good oral hygiene
Smoke or chew tobacco
Have heart disease, diabetes, respiratory disease or osteoporosis
Have a family member diagnosed with periodontal disease
Are pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant

In addition, the following types of prescription drugs may also increase the risk of periodontal disease. Tell your Dentist if you are taking:

Cancer therapy drugs
Oral contraceptives
An anti-epilepsy drug
A calcium channel blocker

Warning Signs

Periodontal disease is considered “silent” because pain does is not always one of the warning signs. Make sure to schedule an appointment if you experience any of the following:

Bleeding of the gums from brushing teeth, using dental floss, or eating hard food.
Recurring redness, puffiness, tenderness, or swelling of your gums
Fillings that have become defective
Bridges or partial dentures that no longer fit properly
Loose or separating teeth
Changes to your teeth, bite or dental work
Gums that are receding from your teeth, causing them to look longer
Persistent bad breath
Persistent metal taste in your mouth
Puss between your gums and teeth
A sore or irritation in your mouth that does not improve within two weeks

Periodontal Treatments

There are many variables involved with treating periodontal disease. Each patient’s situation is different. Much depends upon the stage of infection and the amount of deterioration of your gums, teeth, supporting tissues, and bone.

The most well known type of non-surgical treatment is scaling and root planing. This under-the-gum procedure involves a careful removal of plaque and tarter from the tooth roots. During this procedure your roots are smoothed to expose and remove harmful bacteria. At Bakersfield Smile Design we use a special laser method that improves the effectiveness of this procedure. This technique also causes less bleeding, swelling and discomfort to the patient. Root smoothing along with the practice of good oral hygiene can help prevent plaque from accumulating again.

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We believe in educating our patients.

Over 20 years of Cosmetic Dentistry and 15 years serving Bakersfield, California, Dr. Krauss has performed thousands of complete smile restorations. He helps patients make the best decisions for their smiles and oral health by sharing his expertise.