Here at Specialty Dental Care P.C., one of our top priorities is the diagnosis and treatment of periodontal disease. According to the CDC, about 47% of the adult American population suffers from mild to severe periodontal disease. This is a number we’d like to reduce, starting right here in Omaha, NE.
What is Periodontal Disease?
Periodontal disease, or gum disease, can range from mild to severe, and begins with a tiny culprit: bacteria. Your mouth contains a multitude of bacteria that, working together with other particulate matter and mucus, creates an invisible substance called plaque. After time, this plaque hardens and becomes tartar, a substance that can only be removed by a professional.
If left untreated, tartar and plaque will lead to a condition called gingivitis. Gingivitis is categorized as a mild form of periodontal disease, and is distinguished by inflammation, redness, swelling, and bleeding of the gums. If caught in time, gingivitis can be reversed with a thorough dental routine and regular cleanings — usually without any permanent damage to bone and tissue.
If gingivitis is allowed to progress without treatment, it becomes periodontitis. Periodontitis occurs when the gums recede from the teeth, creating “pockets” that are easily infected. Your body’s natural response to these infections is to fight the bacteria. Between the bacteria itself and your body’s defenses, the tissues, bones, and gums will inevitably break down.
Periodontitis without treatment can ultimately lead to tooth loss or the need for tooth extraction.
Periodontal Disease Risk Factors and Symptoms
Periodontal disease typically begins showing itself to adults in their 30s and 40s, with men being more commonly affected than women. It can be seen in earlier ages, but the body is better able to recover from the inflammation at a younger age.
Certain risk factors are associated with periodontal disease, including:
- SmokingFemale Hormonal Changes
- Diseases like AIDS and cancer, and their corresponding treatments
While symptoms do vary, some of the common warning signs for periodontal disease include:
- Pain while chewing food
- Bleeding, tender gums
- Persistent bad breath
- Tooth sensitivity
- Swollen, reddened gums
- Receding gums
- Unexplained loose teeth
Periodontal Disease Nonsurgical Treatments
The treatment plan for periodontal disease is determined by the severity and progression of the condition. In any stage, the priorities lie in the treatment of infection and the removal of tartar, plaque, and inflamed tissue.
For milder cases, treatment can usually take place without the use of surgery. Medications are often prescribed to combat the infection, while a process called scaling and root planing is used to control tartar and plaque.
In scaling and root planing, tartar is scraped off (or “scaled”) both above and below the patient’s gum line. Root planing is used to remove spots on the root of the tooth that attract germs and allow them to accumulate any further infection.
Periodontal Disease Surgical Treatments
If medication, scaling, and root planing are not effective in reducing pockets and inflammation, oral surgery is the next step.
One type of oral surgery used to combat periodontal disease is “osseous surgery” During this process, the periodontist will lift the gums back in order to more thoroughly remove the tartar. Following the procedure, the gums are sutured back to their original position, allowing them to heal more closely to the tooth. If extensive damage has been done to the bone and tissues, further oral surgery is needed. Bone and tissue grafts promote new growth in areas of the mouth where bone and gum tissue loss has occurred. In both bone and tissue grafts, either natural or synthetic tissues are used to cover damaged areas and stimulate regrowth.
An Omaha Solution for Periodontal Disease
Specialty Dental Care P.C. specializes in the treatment of periodontal disease, and is proud to serve the Omaha, NE area with experienced, friendly gum disease treatment.
Here is our FAQ on Periodontal Disease
- What is Gum Disease?
- What is a Periodontist?
- What are the Symptoms of Gum Disease?
- Can Gum Disease be Cured?
- What Causes Bleeding Gums?
- What is Scaling and Root Planning?
- What is a Gum Graft?
- What to Expect After a Gum Graft
Contact Us or Schedule an Appointment Today!