Gum Disease Treatment – Encinitas, CA

Restore the Health of Your Gums

Gum disease is much more common than you may think. Nearly half of adults over the age of 30 have some form of gum disease, and this percentage increases with age. Over time, gum disease can lead to permanent damage and even tooth loss! Fortunately, we offer various treatment options to restore the gums to health. By treating gum disease in its early stages, you can prevent serious, irreversible issues. To learn more about gum disease or to schedule an appointment, give us a call .

Why Choose McElroy Smiles by Design of Encinitas for Gum Disease Treatment?

  • Numerous Treatment Options
  • In-House Dental Membership Plan
  • Flexible Financing Available

What is Gum Disease?

Closeup of a person with gum disease

Gum disease is an infection of the gums and supportive tissues. Most of the time, it is caused by plaque and tartar buildup as a result of poor oral hygiene. It can lead to permanent gum damage, tooth loss, and other serious health risks. Here are the two different stages of gum disease:

  • Gingivitis: This is the earliest stage of gum disease. It can usually be reversed by improving your dental hygiene routine and seeing your dentist for regular cleanings and checkups.
  • Periodontitis: This is the more advanced stage of gum disease. At this point, it can only be managed, not cured. However, management is necessary to prevent further infection and serious complications, like tooth loss.

Several factors can increase your risk of gum disease. Some of the most prevalent ones are smoking, chewing tobacco, poor oral hygiene, genetic factors, immune-compromising conditions, medications, and hormonal changes caused by pregnancy.

Symptoms of Gum Disease

Toothbrush and blood next to sink drain

It’s important to recognize the symptoms of gum disease so you know when changes need to be made. If you notice any of the symptoms listed below, you should schedule a visit with us. This way, we can examine your smile and put together a treatment plan that is right for you.


  • Halitosis (bad breath)
  • Bleeding when brushing/flossing
  • Red/inflamed gums
  • Gum tenderness
  • Gum recession


  • Pain while chewing
  • Loose teeth
  • Sensitive teeth
  • Bite changes
  • Tooth loss

How Do We Treat Gum Disease?

Woman at a dental appointment speaking to dentist

Before we can determine how we will treat the soft tissues in your mouth, we will need to thoroughly examine your smile to determine the severity of your condition. We will also discuss your symptoms in detail. Then, we will go over your different treatment options and put together a plan that will best restore the health of your smile.

Scaling & Root Planing

Digital illustration of scaling and root planing

Scaling and root planing is a two-part process that can usually be completed in two appointments. First, we will thoroughly remove all of the plaque and tartar from your teeth to minimize the presence of bacteria in the mouth. If you have any gum recession, we will scale down into the pockets of the gums to make sure nothing is hiding. Then, we will smooth down the surface of the roots, removing hardened bacteria deposits. This will help the gum tissue to reattach to the tooth and protect the roots.

Antibiotic Treatment

Illustration of bacteria in the mouth

Antibiotics can be prescribed in a variety of different forms to minimize the bacteria in the mouth. Generally, this treatment is done in combination with another treatment, like scaling and root planing. Ultimately, the use of antibiotics is helpful in targeting the infection and preventing symptoms from worsening.

Laser Periodontal Treatment

Close-up of a dental laser with blue handle

Laser therapy is not a stand-alone treatment. Instead, it works in conjunction with other treatments. In this case, we utilize a soft tissue laser in the process of scaling and root planing or Chao Pinhole to kill bacteria and remove severely damaged gum tissue. Using a soft tissue laser minimizes bleeding and eliminates the need for sutures and scalpels. This helps to make the recovery and treatment more comfortable.

Chao Pinhole Technique

The Chao Pinhole Technique helps to address gum recession that has left the roots of the teeth exposed and sensitive. Previously, this issue would have required a gum graft. However, now we can use this less invasive treatment. This procedure involves making tiny holes in the gums that allow us to gently massage and stretch the gumline back over the teeth’s roots to protect them. There is usually no need for sutures or incisions.