Periodontal Disease

Periodontal Disease

Dr. Rebecca Sowers is a Lincoln Nebraska dentist who offers all the dental services your family needs to achieve and maintain healthy and beautiful smiles! At our Lincoln dental practice, we provide treatment for periodontal disease for those patients who have problems with their gums.

About Periodontal Disease

Periodontal Disease.

The word periodontal means “around the tooth”. Periodontal disease or gum disease as it’s also called is infection of the structures around the teeth, including the gums, periodontal ligaments, and bone. If plaque, the soft sticky film consisting of saliva and bacteria is left on the surface of teeth, the harmful bacteria builds up to cause gum disease.

Plaque that is not removed by brushing and flossing can eventually harden into tartar. Once tartar is on the teeth, it is more difficult to brush and floss it away as it collects at the gum line. As this tartar, plaque, and bacteria continue building up, the gums can become red, swollen and even bleed when brushing. This is called gingivitis, the early stage of gum (periodontal) disease.

The good news is that gingivitis is reversible with proper oral hygiene and professional dental treatment. However, if left untreated, gingivitis can advance to a more serious stage of gum disease called periodontitis. At this stage, the bacterial infection causes the gums and supporting bones to break down. This is when the gums start receding, pulling away from the teeth. If periodontitis is not addressed with treatment, the bone supporting the teeth is destroyed, which can result in tooth loss.

The Link Between Your Oral Health and Overall Health

Periodontal disease is the leading cause of tooth loss. Even more alarming, is that studies have found a link between periodontal disease and other diseases in the body like cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and rheumatoid arthritis. It is believed that the destructive bacteria present in chronic periodontal disease makes its way to other parts of the body through the bloodstream, leading to other chronic inflammatory diseases.

How To Prevent Periodontal Disease

The best way to avoid getting periodontal disease is to take good care of your teeth and gums. This involves doing a great job with your oral hygiene routine and seeing your Lincoln NE dentist twice a year for checkups and cleanings. Eating a healthy diet can also lower your risk of developing periodontal disease. If you smoke, try to kick the habit once and for all as smokers are more likely to develop periodontal disease than non-smokers.

Signs & Symptoms of Periodontal Disease

Bleeding gums: Your gums should never bleed, even when you brush your teeth too vigorously or use dental floss regularly.
New gaps between teeth: Bone loss caused by periodontal disease can result in new gaps appearing between the teeth.
Loose teeth: The teeth can loosen due to bone loss or weakened periodontal fibers caused by periodontal disease.
Pus around the teeth and gums: Pus around the teeth and gums is a clear sign of infection.
Red, swollen gums: Healthy gums are never red and swollen.
Discomfort or tenderness: Periodontal disease can cause discomfort and tenderness of the gums and teeth.
When a patient has severe periodontal disease, they may need to see a periodontist for treatment. A periodontist is a dentist who specializes in the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of periodontal disease.

Contact Your Lincoln Nebraska Dentist

If you suspect that you have periodontal disease, we urge you to contact our office right away to schedule an appointment with Dr. Sowers. During your visit with us, Dr. Sowers will conduct a thorough oral evaluation to see if you have periodontal disease. If she finds that you are affected by gum disease, she will then recommend the most appropriate treatment to restore your gums to a healthy condition.