Periodontal Disease Prevention
Periodontal (gum) disease is one of the most common conditions we treat at Antelope Creek Family Dentistry. Practicing good oral hygiene can help prevent periodontal disease, but it can still occur for various other reasons. Our dental team believes that the earlier we identify periodontal disease, the easier it will be to treat.
What Is Periodontal Disease?
Periodontal disease can occur due to the buildup of plaque on the teeth and beneath the gumline. Plaque is a sticky substance that attracts bacteria and eventually transforms into tartar or dental calculus. If left untreated, the buildup of tartar and bacteria can irritate the gums and cause an infection that can put your oral and physical health at risk, such as tooth loss or heart conditions.
How to Prevent Periodontal Disease
Periodontal disease is 100 percent preventable and can be treated with the help of a general dentist in Lincoln, NE. Having good dental hygiene, such as daily brushing and flossing, can help keep your teeth clean and strong. However, you must visit your dentist for regular exams and professional cleanings to ensure your teeth and gums are free from plaque.
Even if you are diligent and thorough in your brushing and flossing, you cannot reach all places where plaque can accumulate. The American Dental Association recommends seeing your dentist regularly to get professional teeth cleanings to prevent decay and disease.
Ultimately, a dental hygienist uses special equipment to meticulously clean your teeth and below your gumline, lowering your chance of developing gum disease.
Signs of Periodontal Disease
There are several warning signs of periodontal disease, including:
- Red, swollen, or tender gums
- Bleeding gums, especially when brushing or flossing
- Chronic bad breath (halitosis)
- Sores or bumps on the gums
- Loose teeth or change in teeth alignment
If you notice any of these warning signs, please contact us to book your appointment with one our of Lincoln dentists.
Risk Factors of Periodontal Disease
Sometimes, even when you regularly clean your teeth and go to the dentist, you can still have periodontal disease. The following risk factors can cause or exacerbate the development of gum disease:
- Smoking and tobacco products - Smoking and using tobacco products (i.e., chewing tobacco or vaping) can increase your odds of developing periodontal disease. Your dentist can provide you with support and resources if you would like to stop smoking or using tobacco.
- Diabetes - Diabetes has been directly linked to periodontal disease. High glucose levels increase the amount of plaque that can develop in the mouth, leading to plaque formation and irritation of the gums.
- Heart disease - Studies have also shown that there is a connection between heart disease and periodontal disease. The inflammation caused by periodontal disease can negatively affect heart health.
- Prescription medication - Certain prescription medications can cause dry mouth (xerostomia), which can be partially responsible for gum disease.
- Medical conditions - Autoimmune diseases and cancer treatments can increase your risk of having gum disease.
- Genetics - Gum disease can also be influenced by heredity. Some people may be more prone to having gum disease because of their genetics.
Non-Surgical Periodontal Treatment in Lincoln, NE
Our goal is that our patients maintain healthy, disease-free smiles for the rest of their lives, which is why we offer periodontal disease prevention and treatment. When treating gum disease, we first consider how advanced it is and how much damage it has caused to your smile and bodily health.
We care for mild to moderate gum disease with non-surgical treatments such as scaling and root planing, customized at-home care plan, and prescribing antibiotics or antimicrobials.
#1 Scaling and Root Planing
Scaling and root planing is a deep cleaning treatment the dentist or hygienist uses to remove plaque and tartar from root surfaces and periodontal pockets. Once the pockets and roots are thoroughly cleaned, the dentist or hygienist will smooth the tooth root to eliminate any bacterial toxins that may be present.
#2 Customized At-Home Care Plan
We work with each patient on developing an oral habit plan that will improve their oral health and reduce their risk of gum disease. These plans often include suggestions for oral hygiene, diet, and lifestyle changes, such as quitting smoking.
#3 Antibiotics and Antimicrobials
For mild gum disease, your dentist may prescribe antibiotics or antimicrobial mouthwashes to reduce gum inflammation and irritation.
#4 Laser Therapy
Our team can use laser therapy to help treat gum disease, remove diseased gum tissue, and eliminate plaque and bacteria below the gumline. Laser dentistry allows our patients to heal faster and more comfortably than if they had traditional oral surgery.
For more extreme cases that may require surgery, we refer patients to a local specialist to receive the treatment they need.
Call Us for Help with Your Gum Health!
If you suspect you may have periodontal disease, don’t hesitate to call us and seek treatment. We can help alleviate painful and uncomfortable symptoms and make sure your gums remain protected.