Restoring Periodontal Health with Experienced Preventive Care
As your trusted experts for periodontal care, Dr. Jeremy Factor and his team understand how prevention, professional cleanings, and continued maintenance help to protect your smile against issues like decay and gum disease. At each visit, our San Diego specialist delivers comprehensive and customizable solutions to improve your oral health. We provide education through strong communication to help you understand the critical role healthy teeth and gums play in your essential oral health.
By focusing his time on establishing awareness, our periodontist can help every patient that walks through our doors achieve functional, healthy smiles with a proactive approach to oral healthcare.
Whether you’re experiencing tender, bleeding gums during routine oral hygiene or are visiting us for your preventive periodontal cleaning, our team provides the solutions you need paired with the caring, gentle approach you deserve. Contact the office of Dr. Jeremy Factor today to schedule your appointment!
CALL US: 619-466-6666 REQUEST APPOINTMENT
Why Does Prevention Matter?
Preventive care isn’t just to help children avoid cavities, teens prevent dental plaque buildup, and adults protect against gum disease. Prevention is essential for achieving lasting oral health that contributes to full, functional, and visually-appealing smiles. Healthy teeth free of decay, pink gums free of infection, and soft tissues free of cysts and oral cancers are the pivotal foundations supporting your oral health.
Prevention focuses on detecting and analyzing the potential risks of oral health problems. Catching health concerns in their initial stages helps us preserve more of your natural teeth, gums, and other important structures. It can also help reduce the chances of pain and discomfort that oral disease can cause, along with less time and expense spent in the dental chair.
What Does Preventive Care Involve?
Dr. Factor analyses every aspect of your entire oral health, not just your teeth and gums. Our periodontist offers the following preventive solutions:
Digital & Panoramic X-Rays
Digital x-rays allow us to detect signs of dental and structural problems that aren’t typically visible to the naked eye. These issues often include deep decay, jawbone weakening, impacted teeth, abscesses, cysts or tumors, and periodontal infections below the gum line.
Panoramic x-rays are extraoral, meaning no plates or film will be placed inside your mouth. This x-ray technology provides us with ear-to-ear images of your upper and lower jaws, and your nasal and sinus passages, which can be missed by traditional X-rays.
Another advantage is that both digital and panoramic x-rays produce less exposure to radiation than traditional x-rays, which is better for your overall health.
Oral Health Exams
Our periodontist evaluates your oral health and medical history completely before your exam and discusses any significant findings. Certain medications and other overall health issues can affect your smile significantly, so to ensure we can deliver you with the best preventive care possible, our specialist will want to know any and all contributing factors.
If you have deep decay, damage, gum disease, or other problems, Dr. Factor will discuss next steps, your options for treatment, and explain which procedures should be included in your customized treatment plan.
What Do Oral Health Exams Check?
A proper oral health exam evaluates your teeth, gums, jaw, and everything in between thoroughly, discussing findings and potential warning signs along the way.
Our periodontal specialist with check the following:
Teeth: All surfaces of your teeth are carefully examined, looking for signs of decay, damage, disease, and infection.
Structural Soft Tissues & Gums: All soft tissues and gums are thoroughly examined for any symptoms of infection or disease. This includes looking for signs of inflammation, sores, receding gums, and abscesses or cysts. Dr. Factor also uses special tools for measuring pockets that could be forming beneath the gum line, revealing active gum disease.
Tooth Roots & Underlying Jawbone: Our digital and panoramic x-ray technology allow us to gain a full understanding of where the current health of your teeth and jawbone are at.
Chewing Abilities: Your ability to chew properly and how your teeth and jaws meet says a lot about the state of your oral health. In addition to examining teeth and gums, we’ll also take a detailed look at jaw placement and how your jaw muscles move as you speak and chew.
Neck and Jaw Structures: The neck and outer jaw areas are essential parts of your oral health that can contribute to potential problems and risks. Examining your jawline and jaw structure and checking your neck for swollen lymph nodes can reveal signs of cancer, cysts, or disease, which helps us take prompt action.
Smile Aesthetics: Although our periodontist focuses on treating the oral structures of smiles, he also evaluates the visual signs of teeth and gums for more obvious clues of oral health problems. Chips, cracks, wear, and deep discoloration can indicate that something is going on in your smile and needs further examination.
Oral Cancer Screenings
The goal of an oral cancer screening is to detect sores or precancerous lesions that may lead to cancer of the mouth at the earliest stage, often when cancer cells or lesions are the easiest to remove and most likely to be cured.
We perform detailed yet gentle examinations of your smile to detect oral cancer during routine visits.
Who’s at Risk for Oral Cancer?
Certain individuals may have a higher risk of developing oral cancer due to these factors:
- Smoking and using tobacco products
- Heavy alcohol use
- History of having oral cancer
- Family history of oral cancer
- Significant sun exposure, which increases the risk of lip cancer
While the goal of most dental professionals is to save natural teeth whenever possible, sometimes certain complications make tooth extractions the healthiest solution.
Whether impacted wisdom teeth are the cause of your issues or decay has damaged teeth beyond the point of repair, extraction can help put your smile on the right path towards good oral health.
Infection typically leads to severe tooth pain, soft tissue swelling, and tender gums. Other symptoms of infection can include bad breath. If spread to the gums, an abscess can form, infecting other teeth and possibly the bloodstream, causing health complications throughout the body. At this point, extraction is often necessary.
Damage can be the result of trauma or years of clenching and grinding (bruxism). Cracks and fractures that extend to a tooth’s root are prone to infection, putting neighboring teeth at risk. Deep damage in a tooth’s root cannot be repaired, and extraction is often the best option for protecting your oral health.
Impacted Wisdom Teeth are the most common reason for tooth extraction. Most smiles are not big enough to house these extra teeth, and thus their growth is impacted. This leads to overcrowding in the mouth, misaligning teeth which are harder to care for and keep clean. It can also lead to partial eruptions, where food can get trapped under the gums and raise the risk of gum disease.
If the tooth in question isn’t a wisdom tooth or third molar but needs to be removed, extraction is also a necessary procedure in preparation for dental implant placement.
Who Can Benefit from Preventive Treatments?
Just as oral health concerns, like gum disease, do not discriminate against age, neither do preventive treatments and cleanings.
Anyone with teeth, gums, and surrounding soft tissues will benefit from proactive diagnosis, professional communication and education, recommendations on oral health routines, and skilled treatment.
Understanding the Mouth-Body Connection
Smiles house both helpful and harmful bacteria. The useful bacteria work to eliminate bad breath, improve digestion, and stimulate saliva glands, which helps reduce acids from leftover food particles to protect and strengthen teeth naturally. When routine oral hygiene is neglected, harmful bacteria accumulate, forming an off-white, sticky substance known as plaque.
This buildup clings to the surfaces of teeth and the longer it stays there, the harder it gets, forming tartar. Tartar begins building up along the gum line and irritating the gums. This inflammation is the earliest stage of gum disease, also known as gingivitis.
As the infection develops further into periodontitis, it causes gum tissue to pull away from teeth, creating pockets where more bacteria, toxins, and infection can reach the underlying tooth roots and jawbone.
From there, the infection can work its way into the bloodstream, gaining access to other areas of the body. More and more dental and medical research is showing that the bacteria from gum disease can cause complications with diabetes, heart disease, Alzheimer’s, and even low birth weight in infants.
What Is Periodontal Disease?
Periodontal disease is an oral infection that attacks the periodontal (gum) tissue of the smile. It’s also the number one cause of tooth loss.
Periodontal disease includes three stages:
The earliest and most treatable stage of gum disease.
The second, harmful stage of gum disease, causing inflammation of the tissues around the teeth, often causing shrinking gums and loose teeth.
3. Advanced Periodontitis
The most harmful and destructive stage, the connective tissues that hold teeth in place begin to deteriorate. Gums, bones, and other tissues that support your teeth can be destroyed.
How Will I Know if I Have Gum Disease?
In the earliest stages of gum infection, you may experience no pain and hardly any symptoms. However, you must look out for possible signs of the disease and contact our periodontist if you have the slightest suspicion you may have this oral health issue.
Common signs of gum disease include:
- Red, swollen, and tender gums that bleed routine brushing and flossing.
- Persistent pain or discomfort in the gums.
- Noticeable bad breath or bad taste in the mouth.
- Teeth that appear “longer.”
- Gums that recede, causing loose and shifting teeth.
How is Gum Disease Treated?
After you have been diagnosed with gum disease and depending on which stage the condition is in, Dr. Factor can provide various surgical and non-surgical treatments for comprehensive care.
Periodontal Treatments for Gum Disease
Scaling works to remove bacteria and tartar buildup from the surfaces of your teeth as well as underneath the gums. This is done using specialized tools.
Root planing involves smoothing the root surfaces, making it harder for tartar and bacteria to build up further. This also removes toxins that contribute to inflammation and delay gums from healing properly. Treatment allows gums to re-attach to the surfaces of the tooth as they heal.
Antibiotics can help control infection with topical or oral options. Topical antibiotics may involve rinses or gels applied to the spaces between teeth and gums or into pockets after deep cleanings. Oral antibiotics may also be needed to help eliminate harmful bacteria.
Our surgical solutions for gum disease include crown lengthening, gum, bone, and tissues grafts, pocket reduction surgery, and more! For more information on our available treatments, contact our office to discover how we can help you.
How Necessary are Dental Cleanings?
Very! Routine dental cleanings are part of the overall dental checkup and essential to maintain a healthy smile and avoid gum disease. Bacteria and tartar that’s not removed can form under the gum line, causing periodontal disease and eventual bone and tooth loss. They are an essential aspect in achieving ideal oral health for life.
Are Cleanings Painful?
Not typically. Even if you’re visiting our San Diego office for periodontal cleanings, Dr. Factor can administer IV conscious sedation to ensure maximized comfort and relaxation if you or a loved one have anxiety about treatment.
Routine Cleanings vs. Periodontal Maintenance: What’s the Difference?
Regular cleanings are recommended to occur three to four times per year if you have undergone periodontal treatment before, but you don’t have bone loss or active periodontal infection. These preventive cleanings are an ideal way to keep periodontal disease from developing or getting worse.
If you have gum disease, you may already have undergone scaling and root planing or periodontal surgery. These specialized cleanings are recommended after gum disease treatments and also fall under periodontal maintenance.
Periodontal maintenance involves specialized cleanings that are more intricate than routine cleanings. Patients with a history of gum disease need deeper cleanings because periodontal pockets have formed, and we need to help gums re-attach themselves to teeth properly.
Preserve Your Smile’s Lifelong Health Today!
At the periodontal practice of Jeremy Factor, DDS, our specialist and his team are passionate about helping you achieve oral and overall wellness for life! With our exceptional cleaning and prevention services, diagnostic technology, and compassionate approach, you’ll have all you need to maintain a healthy, functional smile. Contact us today to schedule your periodontal evaluation!
CALL US: 619-466-6666 REQUEST APPOINTMENT