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Gum Disease Treatment in Pasadena

Gum Disease

Gum disease, or periodontal disease (perio from “around” and dont from “tooth”) is a common condition affecting millions of Americans. Most only have mild gum disease, but about 30% suffer from severe gum disease that causes loss of the bone support for a tooth.

Gum disease is caused by inflammation of the gums as a result of bacteria in plaque, a sticky film that forms on your teeth. Gum disease can progress to affect the bone and ligaments that support the teeth, and can cause eventual tooth loss.

Successful gum treatment depends on a thorough exam and correct diagnosis. In your initial visit, our team will welcome you to the office, get to know you, and complete a gentle but thorough periodontal or implant exam.

To make an appointment, call 626.389.9726 or click here to request an appointment online.

Providing non-surgical and minimally invasive options

Our approach to treating gum disease is conservative — that is to say we will do everything we can to treat your specific gum condition in the most effective, least invasive approach for you.

As a periodontal office, our training and experience is specialized in understanding and treating periodontal (gum) disease of all kinds, and understanding and treating the teeth and jawbone as they relate to gum disease. We can control gum disease, save teeth, and preserve bone where a general dentist might not be able to.

To make an appointment, call 626.389.9726 or click here to request an appointment online.

Gum Disease Consultation

The first step is to establish the type and severity of your gum disease is through a thorough examination. We look out for a variety of factors that could affect gum health when examining and treating our patients. This includes the patient’s age, medical history and medications. Medical conditions, such as diabetes, heart disease and immune system problems, can influence the success of periodontal treatment and how the treatment is done.

We will advise you on your treatment options, and answer any questions you have.

To make an appointment, call 626.389.9726 or click here to request an appointment online.

Our Gum Disease Treatments

Accurate probing using a thin, gentle probe tells us the pocket depth of your gums. Pockets occur when gum disease spreads below the gum line, causing the gum to detach from the root surface and form pockets in which bacteria can multiply and cause further detachment.

Pockets 4 mm and deeper indicate gum disease. A pocket 6 mm to 8 mm indicates an advanced stage of periodontitis (severe gum disease).

Correct diagnosis

In some cases, w may need to take our diagnosis a step further by doing a DNA test to determine which type of bacteria is prevalent. This makes our treatment more accurate and effective. Knowing which type of bacteria is causing the problems, we can create a treatment path to best attack it, including prescribing bacteria-specific antibiotics.

DNA testing

Our first line of attack on gum disease is a deep cleaning – which involves scaling and root planing. In many cases our expert deep cleaning can remedy even chronic periodontitis.

Expert deep cleaning

Using bacteria-specific antibiotics in conjunction with deep cleaning and good home care, gum disease can be eliminated.

Antibiotic therapy

Another tool we use to eliminate resistant gum disease is laser disinfection and debridement (removal of dead tissue) with our soft-tissue laser. This is often used in conjunction with hygiene visits or with deep cleaning.

Laser disinfection

Your home oral hygiene is vital for the success of any treatment and you’ll get extensive education on how to best keep your gums free of disease. You’ll learn which toothbrush and floss are most effective, and least damaging, and which other hygiene tools to use and how to use them. We also advise our patients on diets that will help them combat their gum disease.

Comprehensive patient education

Dr. Henriod and Hendry are experienced in both conventional and laser gum surgery (LANAP). Depending on the situation, both approaches are successful at controlling gum disease and promoting bone and gum regeneration.

In some cases conventional periodontal surgery is indicated. It is generally known as “flap” surgery.

During this procedure the gums are lifted back, the tartar removed and the irregular surfaces of the bone smoothed out to limit areas where bacteria can attach. The gum then reattaches to the tooth, eliminating any pockets where the bacteria can multiply.

Periodontal surgery

Gum recession has many causes: hard brushing, orthodontic movement, genetically thin tissue, and periodontal bone loss. Dr. Henriod and Hendry are experts in rebuilding lost gum tissue around teeth and implants.

Soft-tissue grafts

Bone loss occurs where teeth are missing, or from severe gum disease. Fortunately, bone can be rebuilt to support dental implants, preserved when teeth are extracted, or regenerated after bone loss from gum disease.

Bone grafting

Types of Gum Disease


In its mildest form, gum disease is known as gingivitis. In this stage there is some inflammation of the gums but no lasting damage to the bone and connective tissue.

Symptoms of gingivitis include non-painful swelling and redness of the gums and there can be bleeding when brushing or flossing.


Here the gum disease has advanced below the gum line. Toxins produced by the bacteria in the plaque irritate the gums causing chronic infection that eats away at the bone and connective tissue around the tooth. The plaque hardens, called tartar or calculus, which can irritate gum tissues and gives bacteria more surface area on which to grow. As a result, the gums start to detach from the tooth, forming a pocket between the teeth and gums.

We can detect periodontal disease by probing the depth of the gum pockets. A pocket depth of around 4 mm indicates beginning gum disease. A pocket depth of 5 mm or more indicates severe gum disease with the highest risk of permanent damage.

Periodontitis Symptoms

Periodontitis occurs when gum pockets trap food and plaque and become infected, affecting the neighboring tissue and bone. As periodontitis progresses, the pockets deepen and gum tissue and bone are destroyed. In its last stages, so little bone and connective tissue are left around the tooth to support it that the tooth becomes loose and may have to be extracted.

Symptoms can include chronic bad breath, tender or painful gums, receding gums, swollen gums, bright red gums, bleeding gums, and as the disease becomes more severe, chewing may become painful and teeth can become loose and shift. As a note, bleeding of gums may cease when the disease progresses, as the inflammation is now inside the pocket and not accessed by your toothbrush or floss.

Severe periodontitis is indicated by pocket depths of 6 mm to 8 mm.

There are other types of periodontitis, the most common being:

  • Acute periodontitis: Painful swelling of the gum tissue caused by bacteria trapped below the gum line.
  • Chronic periodontitis: This is your usual progression of gum disease, causing deeper pockets and loss of ligament and bone support for the tooth.
  • Aggressive periodontitis: Early onset periodontal disease is regarded as aggressive. This can include teeth with a history of periodontal tissue loss,  rapid disease progression, and the lack of systemic disease.

Problems with Gum Disease

Periodontal disease causes chronic inflammation and the leakage of pathogens from the mouth to other parts of the body. Periodontal disease is being investigated as contributing to heart disease, diabetes, pancreatic cancer, some types of pneumonia, liver disease, pre-term birth, and low birthweight among other complications.

Health Conditions associated with Gum Disease

Gum Disease and Heart Disease

Experts in both cardiology and periodontology agree that there is a relationship between gum disease and heart disease. Research has indicated that periodontal disease increases the risk of heart disease as well as aggravates existing heart conditions.

Studies have additionally pointed to a relationship between periodontal disease and stroke.

Gum Disease and diabetes

It’s already well-documented that diabetics are more prone to periodontitis, and in fact, periodontitis is often considered a complication of diabetes.

Research also suggests that the relationship between diabetes and periodontal disease goes both ways—severe periodontal disease can increase blood sugar and periodontal disease can make it more difficult for diabetics to control their blood sugar. Several studies also show that by getting gum disease under control, diabetics have reduced their blood glucose levels by as much as 10%.

Leading Causes of Gum Disease

The leading causes of gum disease are genetics, smoking and plaque.


Some people are predisposed to gum disease (studies estimate it at 50%) but if you treat your teeth and gums properly you can avoid getting it.


Smoking depresses the immune system response necessary to resist gum disease. Studies show tobacco use correlates with worse gum disease.


Plaque is the soft bacteria that coats teeth. If removed at least once every 24 hours you will go a long way in gum disease prevention.

Causes of Gum Disease


Calculus is hardened plaque found below the gum line. It accumulates more plaque and causes loss of bone support around the tooth.

Poor Diet

A poor diet can cause many adverse and chronic conditions in the body, including gum disease. A plant predominant diet is most likely to provide a strong immune system to resist periodontal conditions.


The occlusion of the teeth transmits force to the underlying roots and bone. When the bite force is not balanced, some teeth become loose, shift, wear prematurely, or break. Successful gum treatment removes bacteria and balances bite forces.

Poor quality restorative dentistry

Ill-fitting or aging dental work is more likely to harbor bacteria that cause gum disease and dental caries ( tooth decay).

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