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Advanced periodontal disease threatens the health of your mouth, teeth, and gums. If left untreated, it can cause the loss of multiple teeth. The earlier patients catch periodontitis, the more options they have for treatment and the ability to preserve their natural teeth.


Will I Lose My Teeth If I Have Periodontal Disease?

If you have advanced periodontal disease (periodontitis), treatments are available to help you save your teeth. However, time is of the essence, as tooth loss is imminent when severe gum disease is allowed to progress.

What Is Periodontal Disease?

Periodontal (gum) disease results from bacterial infections in the gums. Bacteria in the mouth is prevalent, and proper oral hygiene can prevent it from worsening. But if bacteria is allowed to build up, it will result in gingivitis and eventually periodontal disease. When gum disease goes untreated, it also endangers the underlying tooth-supporting jaw bone. 


The first visible sign of gum disease is red, inflamed gums that often bleed. When allowed to progress, the gums start to separate from the teeth, and pockets develop. Bacteria accumulate in these spaces, destroying gum tissue and bone, eventually leading to tooth loss. 


Individual teeth can be affected, or your entire mouth can be at risk.

Causes of Gum Disease

Everyone has some amount of bacteria around their teeth. This is normal, as plaque builds up daily and must be removed with regular brushing and flossing. However, when plaque is left to build up for longer, it can cause gum disease. On top of this, outside factors can contribute to your susceptibility to progressive periodontal disease. 


Periodontal disease can be caused or worsened by the following:


  • Diabetes
  • Genetics
  • Hormonal changes (including pregnancy-associated changes)
  • Improper oral hygiene (plaque and tartar build-up)
  • Medications
  • Poor nutrition
  • Smoking/tobacco use
  • Stress
  • Teeth grinding


Some of these factors seem out of your control. Stress, for example, can be challenging to manage. Unfortunately, stress can lower your immune system, making you more susceptible to illnesses like gum disease. If you have any of the above factors, pay closer attention to your gum health and keep up with your regular dental cleanings. 

How Long Can You Keep Your Teeth with Periodontal Disease?

If you have periodontitis, you need treatment as soon as possible. Periodontal disease is chronic, meaning if you have an advanced case, it most likely will need continual treatment to save your teeth. While each patient is different, so there is no general timeline for the amount of time you have to protect your teeth. However, unlike tooth decay, in which you lose your teeth one at a time, advanced periodontitis causes tooth loss in multiple teeth simultaneously. 


In any case, it’s best to be diagnosed and have a treatment plan as soon as possible. This will look different for everyone, depending on the development of the disease. Your dentist may recommend a mild, non-surgical treatment, or it may be best for you to undergo surgery. Below, we will outline the various periodontal treatment options that may be offered to you.

Non-surgical Periodontal Treatments

Non-surgical gum disease procedures are reserved for less severe cases, like gingivitis and mild to moderate periodontitis. When caught early, these conditions can benefit from the following:



Even if you are diagnosed with a mild case of periodontal disease or gingivitis, it’s still important to be treated as soon as possible so that your condition does not worsen. Gum disease is more difficult to detect in the early stages, so be sure to maintain proper tooth and gum care with regular brushing and flossing. Regular dental appointments are also key; you will need a professional examination to catch early signs of gum disease. 

Traditional Surgical Treatments for Advanced Periodontitis

Pocket Reduction (Osseous Surgery) 

This procedure removes tartar and bacteria from around the tooth roots and reduces the pockets they cause. 


During this procedure, tooth roots are cleared of all debris, and the underlying bone is reshaped. Pocket reduction is a tried and true technique in treating advanced periodontal diseases; however, it cannot save teeth that are loose due to severe bone deterioration.

Soft Tissue Grafts

Receding gums result from the destruction of gum tissue, and when this happens, your tooth roots and underlying bone become more vulnerable to the destructive effects of periodontitis. 


Tissue grafting is often used to reconstruct receding gums and restore the protection they are designed to provide. It involves removing a thin piece of tissue from the roof of the mouth and placing it between the receding gum and tooth, allowing it to grow into healthy gum tissue.

Regenerative Treatments for Advanced Periodontitis

Guided Bone Regeneration

Guided tissue or bone regeneration is an advanced technique used to restore degraded areas of the jaw. This process of bone loss is called resorption and leads to tooth loss and changes in the shape of the face.


During this procedure, areas of degenerated bone are cleaned and prepared to receive a bone graft, while a tissue membrane is placed between the gum and bone. The bone and gum tissue will immediately start growing. Within six months, the regenerated dental structures are strong enough to stabilize teeth that otherwise would have been lost, or receive a dental implant if the teeth could not be saved.

Do You Need Periodontal Treatment in Los Angeles, CA?

Dr. Afshin Salamati is a Los Angeles periodontist specializing in advanced gum disease care. His practice provides both traditional and regenerative treatments, and he may combine procedures to meet the needs of his patients. 

If you suspect that you or a loved one has gum disease, call today at 310-275-1090.