Periodontal Disease

Dr. Rebecca Sowers, who runs a family dental clinic in Lincoln, NE treats patients with gum disease and can help them maintain healthy, beautiful smiles.

About Periodontal Disease

Periodontal Disease.

The term "periodontal" means around a tooth. Periodontal disease is an infection of the gums, periodontal ligaments, and bone around a tooth. When plaque is not removed, harmful bacteria build up and cause gum disease. Plaque is a sticky, soft film formed by saliva and bacteria that sticks to the surface of teeth.

If you do not brush and floss to get rid of plaque, it can harden into tartar. When tartar builds up at the gum line, it becomes harder to brush and floss it off. When tartar, plaque, and bacteria continue to accumulate, gums become red, swollen, and bleed when brushed. This is known as gingivitis, the first stage of gum disease.

Good oral hygiene and professional dental care can cure gingivitis, but it can also lead to periodontitis, a more severe form of gum disease. This is when the gums begin to recede and pull away from your teeth. If you don't treat periodontitis, the bone that holds your teeth in place will begin to break down. If you don't treat periodontitis, you may lose the bone that keeps your teeth in place. It can lead to tooth loss.

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The Link Between Your Oral Health and Overall Health

Studies have shown that periodontal disease is associated with other diseases in the body, including heart disease, diabetes, and rheumatoid arthritis. Even scarier, periodontal disease is the main reason people lose their teeth. It is believed that the bacteria associated with chronic periodontal disease travel through the bloodstream to other parts of the body, causing inflammation over time.

How To Prevent Periodontal Disease

Taking good care of your teeth and gums is the best way to avoid getting periodontal disease. This means taking good care of your teeth and gums and visiting your Lincoln, NE dentist twice a year for cleanings and checkups. In addition, if you eat well, you may be less likely to develop periodontal disease. If you smoke, try to quit. People who smoke are more likely to develop gum disease.

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Signs & Symptoms of Periodontal Disease

  • Bleeding gums: Your gums shouldn't bleed if you brush your teeth hard or floss regularly.
  • Space between teeth: Periodontal disease can cause new spaces between teeth due to bone loss.
  • Loose teeth: Periodontal disease can cause loose teeth by weakening the fibers around the gums or causing bone loss.
  • Infections: An infection is evident by pus around the teeth and gums.
  • Red and swollen gums: Healthy Gums are never red and swollen.
  • Pain: The gums and teeth can be painful or tender due to gum disease.

In severe cases of periodontal disease, a patient may require the services of a periodontist, or a dentist who specializes in preventing, diagnosing, and treating gum disease.

Contact Us Today

If you think you might have periodontal disease, please contact us at our family dental clinic in Lincoln, NE as soon as possible to talk to Dr. Sowers. When you visit our office, she will examine your mouth carefully to determine if you have periodontal disease. Call West Gate Dental in Lincoln, NE at (402) 475-8710 to make an appointment.