Periodontics Specialist

Westside Dentistry

Cosmetic & General Dentistry located in Santa Monica, CA

About half of Americans suffer from gum disease, or periodontitis, which can lead to tooth loss if left untreated. At Westside Dentistry in Santa Monica, California, father-daughter team Charles Wood, DDS, and Jennifer Wood, DDS, offer advanced periodontics treatments to help you maintain healthy teeth and gums. At the first sign of bright red, swollen, or tender gums, schedule an appointment with Westside Dentistry by calling the office or using the online booking tool today.

Periodontics Q & A


What is periodontics?

Periodontics is a dental specialty that treats problems with your gums, bone, and other structures that support the teeth. Periodontists at Westside Dentistry are skilled at reducing your risk of and treating gum disease to keep your smile healthy and beautiful.

What are the symptoms of gum disease?

If you experience the following signs or symptoms, you may have gum disease:

  • Puffy, swollen gums
  • Bright red gums
  • Bleeding gums
  • Gums that bleed easily
  • Tender gums
  • Bad breath
  • Pus between your teeth
  • Pain with chewing
  • Receding gums
  • A change in your bite 
  • Loose teeth or teeth shifting

See the Westside Dentistry team for an evaluation at the first sign of gum disease to prevent serious oral health complications, such as tooth loss.

What are the risk factors for gum disease?

Periodontitis is common and can happen to anyone, but the following factors increase your risk of developing it:

  • Genetics
  • Obesity
  • Chewing tobacco or smoking
  • Poor oral hygiene habits
  • Hormone changes
  • Recreational drug use
  • Poor nutrition and vitamin C deficiency
  • Some medications
  • A weak immune system
  • Diabetes and other chronic conditions

Maintaining a healthy weight, not smoking or chewing tobacco, eating healthy foods, properly caring for your teeth at home, and seeing your dentist regularly reduces your risk of developing gum disease.

How is periodontitis diagnosed?

To diagnose gum disease, Westside Dentistry providers review your medical and dental history. They examine your teeth and gums and take dental X-rays to determine the severity of gum disease and develop a treatment plan tailored to your needs.

Which periodontics treatments are available?

To treat gum disease, your dental provider might recommend one of the following periodontal treatments:

Scaling and root planing

Scaling and root planing are procedures in which your dentist cleans infected tooth root surfaces with specialized dental equipment. The Westside Dentistry team uses innovative Solea® laser technology to thoroughly remove tartar and bacteria.

Your dentist might use flap surgery to expose tooth roots for more effective scaling and root planing.


The Westside Dentistry team can remove damaged soft tissues to treat an infection and help you heal from gum disease.


Oral and topical antibiotics help your body fight infection.

Tissue regeneration

The providers at Westside Dentistry use guided tissue regeneration, tissue-stimulating proteins, or grafting to regrow bone and other healthy tissues destroyed by gum disease.

Dental implants

If you have loose teeth or tooth loss associated with periodontitis, dental implant surgery replaces missing teeth with artificial teeth to restore your smile. You may require bone grafting prior to implant placement.

Don’t let periodontitis progress to more serious oral health complications. Schedule an appointment with Westside Dentistry by calling the office today or requesting an appointment online.