Monica Boniadi, DDS, is a family dentist and owner of Aliso Laguna Family Dental Care in Aliso Viejo, California. One of the many dental procedures Dr. Monica Boniadi performs are periodontal treatments, which treat gum disease.
Gum diseases are caused by failure to remove plaque on the teeth with regular brushing and flossing. Plaque that stays on the teeth for too long can harden and become something called “tartar,” which is virtually impossible to remove by brushing but can be treated with a professional cleaning by a dentist or hygienist. If tartar exists on the teeth for a very long period of time, the gums can become inflamed due to a condition called gingivitis that causes gums to become red, swollen, and prone to bleeding.
Gingivitis is a typically mild gum disease that can be removed with a professional cleaning. However, if left untreated, it can develop into periodontitis, which causes the gums to pull away from the teeth to form easily infected pockets. This process eventually results in the breaking down of the bone and connective tissue holding the teeth in place, and teeth may end up needing removal.
Some symptoms of gum disease include chronic bad breath, red or swollen gums that bleed easily, pain when chewing, loose teeth, and receding gums. Periodontal treatments are performed to control the infections caused by gum disease. The type of treatment depends on the progress of the disease, and can include cleanings, various prescription medications, or surgical procedures.
Common surgical treatments for gum disease are flap surgery, which removes tartar deposits in deep pockets or reduces the size of pockets to keep the area from becoming more infected, and bone and tissue grafts, which are occasionally administered in addition to flap surgery.
Gum disease can be prevented by brushing and flossing twice a day, visiting the dentist for routine check-ups, and not smoking. Reducing the risk of gum disease is important to maintaining overall health, as the latter may lead to additional health problems.