Periodontist Explains Why Brushing Alone Is Not Enough to Prevent Gum Disease

When it comes to preventive oral care brushing and flossing are major components for keeping gum disease at bay. The American Dental Association recommends brushing at least twice daily with a soft bristled toothbrush and flossing every night. This will disrupt colonies of plaque that build up along the gum line that contribute to periodontal infection. While daily oral hygiene is imperative to keeping your teeth and gums healthy, optimal oral health is not complete without professional care.

What is an oral porphylaxis?

An oral porphylaxis is preventive dental care. This includes dental cleanings for patients who do not have gum disease. The goal of dental cleanings is to prevent oral health problems, such as cavities, tooth loss, and gum disease. Our Encinitas periodontist offers dental cleanings that remove plaque both above and below the gum line. This is especially important for preventing gingival infection near the tooth root, and blocking the creation of periodontal pockets, where bacteria and plaque collect between the teeth and gums. In addition, Dr. Kania can use air abrasion methods to remove tooth stains, or recommend fluoride treatments to fight enamel erosion.  Supportive periodontal therapy (SPT) is provided as a dental cleaning in a patient that has a history of periodontal disease and / or treatment.  Many of our patients require this specialized care.

How often should I have a dental cleaning?

The American Dental Association recommends dental checkups and cleanings every six months. However, you may require therapy with our Encinitas periodontist, Dr. Kania every two to three months if you have a higher risk of periodontal disease. At times therapy is alternated between dentist and periodontist.  During these appointments, Dr. Kania can administer site-specific therapy or recommend prescription mouthwashes to help you keep disease at bay. These more frequent cleanings are generally recommended for periodontal patients who have had periodontal treatment, who smoke or use smokeless tobacco, as well as many patients over 40 years old.  (more…)

Our Periodontist’s Patients Have Something to Say

Choosing a dental professional can be daunting. There are several factors to consider that you will not be able to discern until you are in the dental chair. One way to know more about your possible personal experience with our Encinitas periodontist, Dr. Kania is to read reviews from our previous patients. Our patient testimonials can tell you more about the personal side of our periodontal care.

Professional Periodontal Care

“Dr. Kania and staff do the most professional work in the most thorough and caring way.  I am so pleased with my periodontal work.  Not only are my gum tissues restored to health, but at the same time I feel part of a healthful community of skilled professionals who are dedicated to the highest standards of work and to the patient’s emotional and physical well-being.  Dr. Kania is that rare doctor who combines knowledge, skill, and empathy in equal doses that make the patient feel truly cared for.  One can do no better than being treated by Dr. Kania and her excellent staff.” –R.M.

At our dental office in Encinitas, we value professionalism and continuing education. A board certified specialist, Dr. Kania completed her residency in periodontology and earned her Doctorate of Medical Science from Harvard School of Dental Medicine. In addition to being a member of multiple professional dental organizations—such as the American Academy of Periodontology, American Academy of Osseointegration, and the International Team for Implantology—Dr. Kania is a diplomate of the American Board of Periodontology and a Fellow of the Institute for Advanced Laser Dentistry.

Modern Dental Technology

After having seven dental implants from our periodontal office in Encinitas, Mr. Fisher describes Dr. Kania as “detailed and thorough” in his testimonial video on our website. He also describes our periodontist’s value of innovative technology and his experience with laser periodontal care as “way beyond my expectation.” In an ever-changing field, staying on the cusp of dental technology is imperative for offering the most modern, effective, and comfortable treatments for our patients. We offer laser periodontal therapy as an alternative to more invasive procedures so that our patients can benefit from thorough gum disease treatment with quicker healing time. (more…)

Periodontal Disease Quiz from San Diego Periodontist

Encinitas periodontist, Dr. Ann Kania challenges you to a quiz, testing your knowledge of gum disease. See how much you know about the symptoms of periodontal disease, treatments for gum disease, and other periodontal facts. You can check your answers by clicking “Read More”.

Q1. What is another name for the beginning stages of gum disease?

A. Periodontitis

B. Gingivitis

C. Cavities

D. None of the above


Q2. Which of the following is a symptom of gingivitis?

A. Deep red or purple gums

B. Swollen or sensitive gums

C. Gum bleeding, especially during brushing

D. All of the above


Q3. Which of the following is a symptom of severe gum disease?

A. Periodontal pockets

B. Tooth loss

C. Chronic bad breath

D. All of the above


Q4. Which of the following may be an effective treatment for periodontal disease?

A. Filling

B. Scaling and root planing

C. Root canal treatment

D. Digital X-rays (more…)

Encinitas Periodontist Answers Laser Periodontal Therapy FAQs

What is laser periodontal therapy?

Laser periodontal therapy is a method used to treat gum disease. Periodontal infections builds up between the teeth and gums, causing separation and creating a space for the bacterial infection to grow. Eventually, continued attachment loss will lead to loose teeth or even tooth loss. To combat periodontitis, our Encinitas periodontist, Dr. Kania uses laser therapy to clean between the teeth and gums and remove infection.

How does laser gum therapy work?

The soft tissue laser is set to a highly specific wavelength to prepare your gums for deep cleaning without using traditional cutting instruments. After cleaning around the tooth root, Dr. Kania will use the laser to essentially “seal” the gum tissue to stop bleeding and block further infection. This crucial step allows for quicker healing than traditional gum surgery.

What are the benefits of laser periodontal treatment?

Dr. Kania may use the LANAP (laser assisted new attachment procedure) protocal to treat gum diseaseLANAP is different from traditional gum disease treatment because there is no cutting or stitching required. Laser gum disease treatment allows for a more comfortable and less invasive procedure than typical gum surgery. Additionally, laser treatment requires less healing time after therapy. In as little as two office visits, our experienced periodontist can treat periodontal disease using laser periodontal therapy techniques.

Is laser gum therapy safe?

Laser periodontal therapy is safe even for patients with HIV, diabetes, and hemophilia. Our Southern California board certified periodontist, Dr. Ann Kania is one of the elite dental specialists certified by the Institute for Advanced Laser Dentistry. At a consultation with Dr. Kania, she will discuss with you any health concerns, and what you can do for the most successful treatment outcome.  (more…)

Why You Should Visit a Periodontist

Treatment for Gum Disease in Encinitas

When it comes to gum disease treatment and diagnosis, a board-certified periodontist has the experience and knowledge necessary to improve your oral health. A periodontist is a dentist that specializes in the treatment of gum tissue, bone support around teeth and gum diseases.  They are experts in saving teeth.  If you have been diagnosed with gum disease or have risk factors for periodontal infection such as diabetes, you should consider visiting our periodontist in Encinitas.

The Top Five Reasons to Choose Dr. Ann Kania

  1. Dr. Ann Kania holds extensive experience treating and diagnosing periodontal disease. She is a Diplomate with the American Board of Periodontology and completed her residency at Harvard School of Dental Medicine. She stays up-to-date with the latest research and innovation in treating gum disease.
  2. Our periodontist has all the necessary equipment to treat all forms of gum disease. Dr. Kania will address the appropriate treatment plan for your specific needs. Although most dentists provide some gum disease treatment, as a periodontist, Dr. Kania can effectively treat even complicated forms of periodontal infection with gentle methods and the latest technology.
  3. Dr. Kania practices conservative periodontology. She utilizes laser gum therapy that diminishes patient discomfort and improves post-procedure healing time. In many cases, lasers are an effective alternative to surgical procedures, especially for patients with dental anxiety.
  4. Our doctor is one of the elite few Southern California periodontists to be certified by the Institute for Advanced Laser Therapy.
  5. Our staff will follow up with your treatment plan and post-operative care. At our dental office in Encinitas, we take a compassionate interest in the health of all of our patients. (more…)

Encinitas Dentist Gives Clues that Suggest You May Have Bruxism

Are you teeth sensitive to temperature?

Can you bite into ice cream or drink a hot cup of coffee without cringing? If hot or cold foods hurt your teeth, you may be experiencing symptoms of teeth grinding, bruxism. Here’s how some tooth sensitivity can develop. The center of your tooth, known as the tooth pulp, is the nerve center of your entire tooth. This part of the tooth is surrounded by a soft layer of dentin and a hard layer of enamel. The dentin is made of microscopic tubes which transfer sensation to the tooth’s nerves. Enamel protects the dentin with a hard outer shell.

Made from the hardest substance your body can produce, enamel is destroyed by teeth grinding. Tooth sensitivity can occur as a result of erosion, abrasion, attrition or abfraction.  When tooth structure is worn away the exposed dentin and tooth pulp can become sensitive to extreme temperatures in what you eat and drink.

Do you have chronic morning headaches or earaches?

Often associated with bruxism, TMJ disorder, or TMD, is a condition related to jaw issues. The jaw joint that allows you to open your mouth and chew is called the temporomandibular joint, or TMJ. Since nocturnal bruxism involves inappropriate teeth grinding throughout the night, your jaw muscles can become exhausted from clenching pressure, contributing to TMJ disorder. Symptoms of TMD include headaches, neck pain, and earaches especially in the morning.

Do you notice more tooth decay than usual at your dental checkup?

If your enamel is worn from clenching and grinding, your teeth may experience more temperature sensitivity, and also have more vulnerability to tooth decay.  The loss of enamel increases the risk of decay.  At a dental checkup our Encinitas dentist can determine if you’re smile is suffering from advanced tooth decay. (more…)

Encinitas Periodontist Takes Personal Approach to Dental Care

Dr. Ann Kania believes that the most important part of treating her patients is educating them about their own oral wellbeing and what they must do in their everyday lives to maintain their healthy and vibrant smiles. Dr. Kania received her dental degree from the University of California, San Francisco, and completed her residency in periodontology at Harvard School of Dental Medicine As an Encinitas periodontist, Dr. Kania knows that chronic infections such as periodontal (gum) disease appear to be associated with serious health issues, including heart disease and diabetes, if not detected and treated by a specialist. Gum disease is also the leading cause of tooth loss, which can cause the bone of your jaw to weaken and lead to facial collapse in later years.

Helping You Prevent Gum Disease

You can take certain measures to help strengthen your defense against gum disease before it becomes an issue. While brushing your teeth daily removes debris from your teeth and protects against certain bacteria, professional care is essential to preventing gum disease. If you do not have gum disease, Dr. Kania may suggest a dental cleaning known as prophylaxis, intended to prevent infection. If it is too late for prevention, Dr. Kania will perform a comprehensive exam to determine the extent of damage and consult with you to decide the best course of action to control the disease. (more…)

San Diego Periodontist Explains how Diabetes affects Oral Health

Did you know that over 25 million people in the United States are diagnosed with diabetes? Even more startling is the fact that roughly 80 million people have symptoms of prediabetes. Patients with diabetes are instructed to test their blood glucose levels, be very mindful of what they eat, and exercise frequently. While these actions are very important for controlling diabetes, many diabetic patients may be unaware how diabetes impacts their oral health—especially the development of gum disease. Your San Diego periodontist, Dr. Ann Kania explains.

How Diabetes Affects Oral Health

Because diabetes impacts a patient’s immune system, diabetics are less likely to fight off infection. High blood sugar levels impair the body’s ability to fight bacteria. Diabetes also impacts saliva production. Because saliva helps naturally rinse the mouth and teeth, a decrease in saliva affects the PH level in the mouth. This condition may lead to an increased risk for tooth decay or gum disease. Patients with diabetes are also more susceptible to oral fungal infections such as thrush.

Diabetes and Gum Disease

Research shows that diabetics are more susceptible to gum disease. Periodontal disease can actually cause spikes in blood sugar levels. Because gum disease involves the infection and inflammation of gum tissue, a weakened immune system makes fighting off periodontal diseases more difficult. Diabetics with periodontitis may experience a more aggressive deterioration of their oral health than non-diabetic patients. (more…)

Encinitas Periodontist Discusses the Incidence of Gum Disease in Women

Did you know that women typically take better care of their oral health than men? Even though women, on average, floss and brush their teeth more thoroughly than men, women have a higher rate of gum (periodontal) disease. You have probably noticed how often we have talked about the health of your mouth affecting your entire body. Many people believe that gum disease is only caused by poor oral hygiene. However, in reality gum disease may be influenced by a number of factors. For women, hormonal fluctuations during puberty, pregnancy, menstruation, and menopause may result in triggers that increase the risk of developing gum disease.

Puberty and Gum Disease

During puberty, blood flow is increased to the gum tissue. This occurs because the body releases higher levels of hormones such as progesterone and estrogen. Girls may experience tender, red, or swollen gums during puberty, too. Over time, gum sensitivity to hormonal fluctuations will lessen. Dr. Ann Kania recommends that her patients take extra care of their oral health during puberty by flossing and brushing thoroughly.  A power brush and antimicrobial rinse may be recommended.

Pregnancy and Gum Disease

Some women develop gingivitis during pregnancy. Common symptoms of gum disease during pregnancy include gums that bleed when brushing or flossing or tender gums. Gingivitis typically develops during the second month of pregnancy and may progressively worsen until the eighth month. Some research indicates that gum disease is linked to early births and lower birth weights. It should also be noted that women who take common birth control medications may experience gingivitis, too. (more…)

Encinitas Periodontist Discusses Dental Phobias and Anxiety Disorders

Did you know that May is Mental Health Month? Your Encinitas periodontist, Dr. Ann Kania raises awareness for mental health by discussing the impact of dental phobias and anxiety disorders on patients and their oral health.

Information on Anxiety Disorders

Anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the United States. Some estimates indicate that up to 40 million people in the U.S. suffer from some type of anxiety disorder. Types of anxiety disorders include post traumatic stress disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, and specific phobias. Although these disorders may differ in severity and symptoms, most patients suffer with intense fears and irrational thinking. Fortunately, anxiety disorders are easier to diagnose and treat than other types of mental illness.

Dental Phobias

Did you know about one out of every five people are afraid of visiting the dentist? While some patients are only mildly afraid, others may have such intense fears that they forgo receiving necessary oral healthcare. Severe fears of visiting the dentist are considered a specific phobia. A person with a specific phobia often experiences heart palpitations, panic attacks, dizziness, and debilitating anxiety when faced with a particular situation or object. (more…)