6200 Wilshire Blvd. CA 90048, ste. 1609
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Gum Doctor

What is a gum doctor?

You’re right! A gum doctor is a doctor who treats gum. A Periodontist.

A Periodontist is a dentist who is specialized in treating gum and soft tissues in the mouth. He/she has received their Doctor of Dental Surgery or Doctor of Dental Medicine degree and continued to specialize in the treatment and saving of teeth that are affected by the disease of the gums.

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Your initial periodontal examination will include your doctor, your hygienist, and your assistant. The first person you will meet is your dental assistant who is well trained to make you as comfortable as possible. She/he may take some x-rays on your mouth to give the doctor a through and through the vision of your entire mouth. Your gums may not show up in the x-rays very well, but your supporting bone structure will tell us the condition of your mouth.

The preparation of the room (as known as operatory) for examination and possible teeth cleaning will then be done. Your doctor will then be called to look at x-rays and examine your mouth, don’t be surprised if probing is done on all your gums surrounding each tooth.

There are three pockets on each side of the tooth, so you will hear numbers called out for each tooth. The doctor goes around the outside of the jaw on your cheek side and then the inside (your tongue side) probing is done. Six pocket markings per tooth.

What are the pockets?

A pocket is a natural occurrence in the surrounding teeth. It’s the distance between the top of the gum down to the bottom, where the bone attaches to the tooth. Your normal pockets are 1 to 3 millimeters which indicate good healthy gums.

4-5 mm becomes a candidate for deep pocket scaling which is done under anesthesia. This is when you meet your hygienist who is educated and licensed to administer local anesthesia and perform deep scaling and routine cleanings. 6+ is not a good number to hear. This means you have full-blown gum disease.

If you are diagnosed with gum problems (period disease) you will be taken care of by the entire team. We will make you as comfortable as possible. You will probably undergo oral hygiene education to make sure that you practice good tooth brushing and flossing at home.

Your deep cleaning will consist of four quadrants of deep scaling, in one to four appointments, your gum’s response to these treatments will determine the next course of action.

If your pockets are reduced back to 2-3mm, you will be put on a three-month recall where we will re-evaluate your pockets. If there is no improvement or worse, you will be scheduled for gum surgery and full periodontal treatment. This is the only way to try to save your teeth. Extractions are also a very good possibility if your pockets are too far gone to support your teeth.

If you feel that you need to get an evaluation of your gums please call us and make an appointment to visit our office.

If you need to see our Periodontist or have any questions before your appointment, please feel free to contact our office by telephone (323) 336-8478 or email us at: smiles@dentistlosangeles.com

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Wilshire Smile Studio is a Los Angeles dentist offering procedures including Invisalign, teeth whitening, veneers, dental implants, and more.