How Do You Know It’s Time to See a Periodontist?


Are your gums hurting? Do you often deal with bleeding, swelling, or inflammation? If your gums are starting to get sensitive, this could be a sign that it’s time to visit your periodontist. At the office of Dr. Kao, we care about the all-around health and well-being of your mouth.

There are many symptoms and causes that can lead to periodontitis. For example, lack of brushing and flossing are the main culprits. Other factors, such as genetics or physical trauma, can also play a part. To allow you to assess whether it’s time for you to see a periodontist, check out some of our quick tips below. As a result, this guide will help you understand the beginning stages of the disease. In a word, you can recognize the symptoms right away.

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How Laser Gum Therapy Works

It is important in any industry to be on the forefront of the latest technology, and although lasers have been a common word in the modern vernacular for some time, they are still making many improvements for periodontists. According to the American Academy of Periodontology, the effectiveness of lasers on gum disease is still up for debate, but with many more studies being done in the future, hopefully a more conclusive answer will be found. One thing is certain: Dr. Kao is always on the cutting edge of the periodontal industry and keeps up with the latest trends and most effective procedures. If you are looking for a periodontist in downtown Los Angeles, look no further than Dr. Kao.

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How does laser gum therapy work?

The benefit of using lasers to treat the gums is that minimal tissue is removed to fix the problem. Traditionally, the process to repair gum disease, or periodontitis, was called scaling and root planing, which is where a hand tool is used to clean out the infected area below the gum line and then smooth the rough areas at the root of the teeth to prevent further bacteria buildup and infection. The same process has become much more effective and involved much less tissue removal with the incorporation of lasers into the scaling and root planing method. Now, periodontists can use lasers to kill the infected tissue and bacteria in a certain area, and also use an ultrasonic root cleaner in place of scraping. The laser can also be used in the recovery process by warming the stem cells once the procedure is completed to create sealed tissue at the root. Ultimately, lasers are intended to streamline the process of fixing periodontitis with minimal damage to the tooth and root.

What are the benefits and disadvantages?

With this new technological advancement in the treatment of gum disease, there are many benefits:

  • Because the use of hand tools is mitigated with lasers, there is much less gum bleeding when a periodontitis procedure is performed. There is also much less chance of bacterial infections because fewer tools are coming into direct contact with the gums.
  • By allowing periodontists to have more control over the wavelengths used for each specific patient, each procedure can be tailor made to fit the patient’s level of severity. It also allows dentists to focus more accurately on the infected area, and not have any collateral damage to the surrounding teeth.
  • There is less trauma to the gums when using lasers, so the recovery time is significantly less, and the procedure has become less invasive.
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    What Causes a “Gummy” Smile and Can You Fix it?

    You know what they say, “You are never fully dressed without a smile!” So if you are insecure flashing those pearly whites, you may feel like you are missing something to make you as confident as you can be. For many years, patients have looked to correct their “gummy” smile with Dr. Kao in order to achieve a look that makes them confident. For more information on correcting a “gummy” smile with the expert periodontist in Los Angeles, contact Dr. Kao today.

    What Causes a “Gummy” Smile?

    There are a few different causes for a “gummy” smile. The first reason is related to the way that the upper jaw has developed. If the maxilla, more commonly known as the upper jaw, has developed in a way where it is fuller in the gum area, then it can result in a “gummy” smile. Another precursor is related to too much tissue in the upper jaw. This results in the teeth looking incorrect from the gum covering them up too much.

    The last cause that is related to a “gummy” smile is related to the upper lip itself. If the muscle controlling it is overactive, then the upper lip can pull back more, which results in more of the gum tissue showing. All these causes are developmental causes and are not due to something you were doing wrong, but rather how your face formed. Many people deal with a gummy smile, and it is one of the most common aesthetic problems.

    Can it be Fixed?

    In short, yes, a “gummy” smile can be fixed. To get started on the process, it is important to first visit a professional for a proper diagnosis. From there, they can take an in depth look at your teeth, gums, and jaw to see what the cause is and which treatment options are available to achieve the desired result. There have been multiple major advancements in the field, and we live in a time that offers more solutions for a gummy smile than ever before. To speak with the expert periodontist in Los Angeles, Dr. Kao, about the diagnosis process and appointments, contact the team today.

    What are Your Treatment Options?

    The diagnosis received from the experts will largely dictate which treatment option is best for you, and what the most effective route will be to achieve the smile you have always wanted. For more minor cases, a laser surgery option may be best for you. In this treatment option, Dr. Kao numbs the area before using the laser to re-contour the gum tissue. However, for more extreme cases, Dr. Kao may have to surgically sculpt the tissue and bone to achieve the desired result. Fortunately, the procedures should be completely painless since they both involve numbing the area. Additionally, any minor discomfort after the procedure can be treated with over-the-counter medication, and if the stitches are not dissolvable they can be removed after a week. However, it is important to note that there are more intensive treatment options for “gummy” smiles caused by incorrectly positioned teeth or a jawbone not developing quickly, so make sure to speak with Dr. Kao about what your treatment will involve.

    Periodontist in Los Angeles

    A smile is an outward extension of our inner joy, and no one should be self-conscious about showing his or her happiness. Unfortunately, many people feel insecure about their smile. Don’t let an insecurity that robs you of so much delight continue any longer! Contact Dr. Kao today to see what your options are, and how you can receive the smile that will make you more confident. Read more

    Signs You Need to See a Periodontist

    periodontist in LA

    Dental hygiene is a particularly important part of life and helpful in preventing unnecessary physical and financial pain later. Brushing after every meal, flossing daily, and regular dental checkups are all great habits to adopt to make sure that you never have to be a victim of oral surgery; however, sometimes things go wrong and there comes time to see a specialist.

    There are many signs to watch out for and it is important to find a great periodontist in Los Angeles, so be sure to contact Dr. Kao if you feel any of the symptoms below; but first, let’s define what a periodontist is and what they do.

    What is a Periodontist?

    According to the American Academy of Periodontology, a periodontist is “a dentist who specializes in the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of periodontal disease and in the placement of dental implants.” Essentially, they are specially trained oral physicians who specialize in gum disease and the structure of teeth and usually treat more problematic cases than general dentists. Because this is a specialized area, periodontists receive three additional years of training after dental school and attend meetings and seminars to be familiar with the latest techniques in their field.

    What are the Signs?

    Although any change to your gums or teeth should warrant at least a consultation with a periodontist, here is a list of some explicit things to look for that may be cause for a visit today:

  • Gums being red, swollen, or bleeding. This is the most common first sign that there may be something wrong that requires treatment.
  • Chronic bad breath. If you practice proper oral hygiene daily, and you are still experiencing chronic bad breath, chances are there is something wrong.
  • Bad taste in mouth. Persistent sour or unpleasant tastes in your mouth could be an indicator that bacterial buildup has occurred, and your gums are under attack.
  • Gum recession. This one may be a bit harder for those of us uneducated in the dental sciences to spot, but it is important nonetheless. Be aware of your gums natural state so you can see if your gum line is receding, which can cause infection due to the root of your tooth being increasingly exposed. Not to mention, it is very painful!
  • Changes to your teeth. Be sure to look out for any gaps, shifting of your teeth, or loose teeth, as these all can be signs of gum disease.
  • Pain. Whether you have pain while biting down or sensitivity to temperature shifts, one thing we all know is certain: any pain is never a good sign.
  • Lifestyle. There are many things about your body or lifestyle that can affect your teeth and could make you more likely to have gum disease. Those who smoke or have smoked for some period of their life are more susceptible to gum disease. Also, having diabetes puts you at an increased risk because of the higher levels of sugar in your saliva that bacteria thrive on.
  • Family history. There have been studies that show gum disease may be hereditary, so if you have a family history of gum disease, it would be prudent to book a visit with a periodontist before these symptoms become a problem. Dr. Kao is a respected periodontist in Los Angeles and is available to give you more information on the possibility of gum disease.
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