Gentle Dental Care

General Dentists, Cosmetic Dentists, & Family Dentists located in Grand Island, NE

Periodontics is a specialty that focuses on gum health. Without healthy gums, your teeth can come loose and fall out, but at Gentle Dental Care in Grand Island, Nebraska, the highly experienced dental team provides skilled periodontal treatment that prevents tooth loss. Call Gentle Dental Care to discuss the benefits of periodontics and good gum health, or to arrange a consultation.

Periodontics Q & A

What is periodontics?

Periodontics is concerned with the health of the structures that support and surround your teeth, specifically your gums, the bone beneath the gums, and the periodontal ligaments.

These structures are vulnerable to periodontal diseases, which are bacterial infections. Left untreated, periodontal diseases can destroy your gums and the underlying bone. This results in loose teeth that are likely to fall out or may need replacing.

The most common type of periodontal disease is gingivitis. This is an inflammation in your gums, and it’s the initial phase of periodontitis. You may not be aware of having gingivitis, as it doesn’t cause any pain. However, you might notice that your gums look redder, and they could bleed when you brush your teeth.

Periodontitis can develop from gingivitis when the inflammation in the gums spreads deeper and gets into the bone. Periodontitis can be chronic, typically developing over time, or less commonly, it can be aggressive, where onset and progression are much more rapid.

The periodontists at Gentle Dental Care have specialized skills in preventing, diagnosing, and treating periodontal diseases.

Why would I get periodontal disease?

The most common cause of the periodontal disease is plaque. This sticky substance coats your teeth, and it’s what you clean off when you brush your teeth. Plaque is full of bacteria that can infect your gums if you don’t clean your teeth properly.

The bacteria in plaque give off toxins that can cause your gums to become inflamed. Over time, this destroys the gums and eventually the bone underneath. Risk factors that increase your chances of developing periodontal disease include:

  • Decayed teeth
  • Broken partial dentures
  • Crowded or crooked teeth
  • Improperly filled teeth
  • Poor oral hygiene
  • Oral piercings
  • Smoking
  • Substance abuse
  • Stressful lifestyle
  • Poor diet

You’re more likely to have periodontal disease if you have immunosuppressive conditions like HIV/AIDs, or chronic diseases such as diabetes. Hormonal fluctuations, which can happen during puberty or pregnancy, for instance, and having a family history of periodontal disease can also increase your risk of developing gum problems.

What are the symptoms of periodontal disease?

Symptoms to look out for include:

  • Red, swollen gums
  • Tenderness
  • Bleeding gums
  • Gums pulling away from teeth
  • Loose or separating teeth
  • Pus between gums and teeth
  • Persistent bad breath
  • Occlusion changes
  • Loose dentures

If you notice any of these symptoms, you should contact Gentle Dental Care. If you ignore the signs, you could end up losing your teeth.

How are periodontal diseases treated?

If you visit Gentle Dental Care soon enough, when you see the first signs of gingivitis, a thorough teeth cleaning with scaling and root planing should solve the problem.

In some cases, you might need to undergo root surface debridement to remove damaged tissue. When it’s possible, your periodontists can also carry out regenerative procedures to reverse bone and tissue loss.

Left untreated, the bone loss and deep periodontal pockets that can develop might require periodontal surgery.

If you’ve noticed signs of periodontal disease, don’t let it get any worse. Call Gentle Dental Care today to schedule an appointment.