Over time, our teeth accumulate plaque due to food accumulation and minerals in our saliva, which collects on the surfaces of our teeth. These plaques consist of bacteria which forms a biofilm on our teeth. Given enough time, these bacteria absorb the minerals from our saliva and turn into tartar deposits which become very difficult to remove.

Without regular removal of these plaque and tartar deposits by a dental professional, the gums gradually change shape and color from a nice, pink, firm consistency to a more inflamed, red, puffy appearance. At times, the gums may even bleed with simple brushing and flossing at home. These are the starting stages of gum disease, or gingivitis. Halitosis, or bad breath, is a common hallmark of plaque and tartar build-up.

Prolonged periods of time with build-up irritates the gum and bone surrounding teeth, eventually leading to gum recession and bone loss. This bone loss is due to the immune system's attempt to 'wall off' the bacteria from the bloodstream. At this point, gingivitis has progressed to periodontitis. Progressive loss of bone eventually leads to loss of teeth. Patients who have diabetes are at increased risk for periodontitis due to an impaired immune response.

Treatment for gingivitis and periodontitis can range from standard prophylaxis to scaling and root planing in order to remove the deposits and bacteria causing the inflammation around the teeth. More severe cases will sometimes require antibacterial irrigation underneath the gums to more effectively eliminate the bacteria.

Our goal at Yorba Linda Dental Center is to provide quality standard of care for all of our patients. During our exams, we evaluate x-rays, gums, and pocket depths to determine what is the right treatment for you. Click below to schedule an appointment so that we can help you on your way to a healthier mouth!