What Is Periodontal Disease

What is Periodontal Disease?

Periodontal Disease Prevention Oxnard, CA

Periodontal disease, also known as gum disease, is a serious problem in the U.S. and around the world. It is the leading cause of tooth loss and can also lead to other health conditions. Our caring and friendly staff is experienced in both treating and helping prevent periodontal disease. We treat patients throughout the Oxnard area.

What Is Periodontal Disease?

Gum disease is an inflammatory disease caused by a bacterial infection of the gums. It can start out with merely red or swollen gums but without treatment will progress to tooth loss and can lead to other health conditions, such as cardiovascular disease and pneumonia.

What Is Periodontics?

Periodontics is a specialized field of dentistry that focuses specifically on treating gum disease in all its stages. A periodontist is a dentist who underwent extra years of training in periodontics after graduating from dental school.

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What Causes Gum Disease See Me Smile Dental Oxnard CA

What Causes Gum Disease?

A sticky film of bacteria called plaque naturally forms on your teeth throughout daily life. If this plaque is not removed through appropriate cleaning, it sticks to the teeth above and below the gum line and hardens into tartar. Over time, this bacteria begins to infect the gums, causing them to become inflamed.

The gums become red, swollen, and sore. They may be tender to the touch and eating or drinking may become painful. As the disease progresses, the gum tissue may pull away from the teeth, leaving pockets that fill with bacteria. Eventually, the teeth can become loose, and/or the infection can spread to the surrounding bone. Bacteria can also spill over into your bloodstream, making you sick in other ways.

What Other Factors Can Cause Periodontal Disease?

Some people are unfortunately more prone to developing gum disease even if they practice proper oral hygiene. These are some of the issues that can make you more prone to developing periodontal disease.


Genetics play a significant role in determining who ends up with periodontal disease and who does not. Sometimes people end up genetically predisposed to developing gum disease and may end up having it even with proper dental hygiene.


Having diabetes affects every system in the body, including the mouth. People with diabetes are much more likely to develop gum disease than those who do not have it.

Immune System Problems

People with weak or suppressed immune systems are at higher risk for developing periodontal disease. This includes those who have conditions such as cancer or HIV.

What Other Factors Can Cause Periodontal Disease See Me Smile Dental Oxnard CA
What Other Factors Can Cause Periodontal Disease See Me Smile Dental Oxnard CA

Hormonal Issues

The hormonal balance of the body changes during puberty, menopause, pregnancy, and at other times of life. These changes sometimes render people more susceptible to developing gum disease.

Medication Side Effects

Some medications decrease saliva production, causing a dry mouth that makes it easier for bacteria to grow and increasing the chances of developing periodontal disease.


All forms of smoking, both nicotine and marijuana, increase the risk of gum disease and can also cause other oral problems.

What Happens if Periodontal Disease Is Not Treated?

Periodontal disease is a progressive disease. If caught early, it can be successfully treated and even reversed. Beyond the first stage, it can only be managed, not cured, and if it is not treated at all, it continuously progresses until tooth loss and health problems become inevitable.

Are There Other Health Consequences of Untreated Periodontal Disease?

Untreated periodontal disease leads to considerable health risks in addition to the dental problems it creates. It increases the risk of developing diabetes. It also increases the risk of developing cardiovascular disease and having a heart attack or stroke.

The infection can spill into your lungs and cause respiratory issues and even pneumonia. It is even linked to the development of inflammatory diseases and arthritis.

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What Happens if Periodontal Disease Is Not Treated See Me Smile Dental Oxnard CA
What Are the Different Stages of Periodontal Disease See Me Smile Dental Oxnard CA

What Are the Different Stages of Periodontal Disease?

Periodontal disease has four stages. The first stage can be completely reversed. The advanced stages can only be treated.


This is the earliest stage of gum disease, when the gums may become swollen, red, and irritated. They may bleed after brushing or flossing. Much of the gum tissue and all the bones are still healthy.

Early Periodontitis

The inflamed gums begin to pull away from the teeth. This creates “pockets” around the teeth that start to trap food and bacteria. Infection begins. The ligaments connecting the tooth to its socket receive permanent damage. Some of the bones may start to show signs of damage.

Moderate Periodontitis

Inflammation spreads and discomfort occurs. Teeth show signs of becoming loose. Some teeth may not be able to be saved and must be extracted.

Severe Periodontitis

This is the worst stage of the disease. Patients in this stage have often lost multiple teeth already and are now at risk of losing all of their teeth. Other health consequences become increasingly likely.

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What Are the Symptoms of Gum Disease See Me Smile Dental Oxnard CA

What Are the Symptoms of Gum Disease?

Periodontal disease does not always start out with obvious symptoms and it may not be painful until the later stages. Bleeding after brushing and flossing indicates the presence of gingivitis. Early gum disease may also begin with red and swollen gums. They often become sensitive and tender. Teeth might also develop pain and sensitivity. The gums gradually begin to pull away from the teeth (recession).

A funny or bad taste might develop in the mouth. Teeth can develop noticeable pockets or become loose. Persistent bad breath might occur. Changes in bite can also be a symptom.

Can You Prevent Periodontal Disease?

Periodontal disease is 100% preventable with proper oral hygiene and good dental care. This means brushing at least twice and day and flossing once daily. It also means getting two professional cleanings a year to remove plaque that is hard to reach.

If you are at higher risk for developing periodontal disease, you may need to have professional cleanings more often. Speak with your provider at the Oxnard office about this possibility. Insurance will often pay for three or four cleanings per year for high-risk patients. Prevention is always better than treatment!

What Else Can I Do to Make My Gums Healthier?

In addition to practicing good oral hygiene and visiting our office for your cleanings, some lifestyle factors can impact your gum health. Reducing your sugar intake will improve every aspect of your health, including your gum health. Eating healthier in general will also improve your oral health.

If you suffer from bruxism, which is teeth grinding or clenching, treating it can help. Lowering stress will also reduce your risk of periodontal disease. Finally, quitting smoking will also improve your oral health.

What Else Can I Do to Make My Gums Healthier See Me Smile Dental Oxnard CA
How Is Gum Disease Treated See Me Smile Dental Oxnard CA

How Is Gum Disease Treated?

Periodontal disease treatment varies based on the severity of the disease and how much damage has been done. Most periodontal patients will need a deep cleaning, also called root planing and scaling. This is a procedure that involves using local anesthesia to numb the gums before removing plaque and tarter from below the gumline with special tools. It usually involves multiple trips to the office.

That may be the only treatment necessary for gingivitis, but more advanced cases will require further treatment. Surgery may be necessary in many cases. Advanced periodontal disease often means that there are teeth that cannot be saved and must be extracted. Sometimes patients must have all their teeth removed and replaced with dentures or implants.

Even after treatment, periodontal patients will need cleanings more often than is typical to keep the disease from progressing again. Most patients will need to have a cleaning and exam every three to four months instead of every six months.

How Much Does It Cost to Treat Gum Disease?

The cost of treating periodontal disease ranges from a few hundred dollars to several thousand dollars. It depends on the stage of the disease and the treatments that are necessary. Insurance may cover some or all of the cost.

When you come into our Oxnard office for a consultation, our providers will create a customized treatment plan for you. This will include a detailed financial breakdown that shows how much you will need to pay for your treatment and when.

See Me Smile Dental of Oxnard offers affordable payment plans and financing options to help our patients get the care they need. Please speak with our staff if you would like to find out more information about these options.

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Are You Ready for a Healthier Smile?

Call See Me Smile Dental of Oxnard at (805) 716-6890 and make your periodontal consultation today!

Meet Dr. Omid

Dr. Omid Barkhordar, DDS has earned his reputation as a leading family and cosmetic dentist in See Me Smile Dental Oxnard,, the Central Coast, and Southern California. He is committed to providing patients of all ages with compassionate care.

From general dentistry to advanced procedures, Dr. Omid uses innovative technology and gentle techniques to deliver safe and stress-free dental care so patients can enjoy a painless, healthy, and gorgeous smile.

Dr. Omid earned his Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS) degree from the University of Southern California (USC) School of Dentistry in one of the best dental programs in the United States. His dedication to helping patients achieve their perfect smile has earned Dr. Omid the continued trust and recommendation of many clients.

No matter the age or needs of the patient, Dr. Omid is committed to helping you discover the benefits of a healthy, beautiful smile.

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