What is Periodontal Disease?
Here’s what we can do for treating gum disease in Lakewood, CO.
Periodontal disease, also known as gum disease or gingivitis, is a serious and common oral health condition that affects the gums and the bones supporting the teeth. It's caused by the buildup of plaque and bacteria in the mouth, leading to inflammation and infection in the gums. If left untreated, periodontal disease can lead to the loss of teeth and, in severe cases, even impact a person's overall health.
The four stages of gum disease include:
- Chronic gingivitis: This is an earlier stage of periodontal disease that is completely reversible. At this stage, you experience inflammation, redness, and bleeding gums, but have not yet experienced bone loss.
- Aggressive periodontitis: This is a fast-moving form of gum disease that causes rapid loss of gum attachment as well as bone destruction.
- Chronic periodontitis: This form of periodontitis is slower in its progress.
- Necrotizing periodontal disease: This is a severe form of periodontal disease that has progressed to the point of killing the gum tissue surrounding your tooth and connecting bone, leading to a foul smell and taste, as well as painful, bleeding gums.
The sooner you speak to your Lakewood, Colorado dentist, the easier it is to reverse the progress of gum disease.
We want to help you and the ones you love smile confidently, breathe clearer, and live a healthier life.
Whether you’re coming in for periodontal treatments in Lakewood, Colorado, or for another dental procedure, from infancy to advanced age, we’re looking out for you.
Periodontal Treatments In Lakewood, CO
Here’s what’s included in your gum disease treatment appointment.
When it comes to treating periodontal disease, the longer you wait, the worse it gets. In mild cases of gingivitis, practicing good oral hygiene and regularly visiting the dentist can quickly reverse the progression of the disease. Your dentist may suggest additional products or prescribe a stronger antimicrobial mouthwash to help treat gingivitis, but if the disease advances, more extensive periodontal options may be necessary, such as:
Scaling and Root Planing
A dentist or dental hygienist “scrapes” your teeth to remove plaque and tartar buildup from your teeth and root surfaces. Depending on the severity of the buildup, you might require several visits.
Pocket Reduction Procedure
This treatment is required when your gums are not fitting as close to your teeth as possible, causing what is called “deep pockets.” A pocket reduction procedure folds the gum tissue to remove infection and bacteria, and then reattaches the tissue to healthy bone.
Gum grafts cover up exposed roots caused by periodontal disease. Skin is removed from your upper palate and then grafted to your gums to provide coverage. This reduces sensitivity while protecting your roots from decay. It also helps stop further issues such as bone loss.
Laser therapy is a less-invasive procedure that requires less recovery time and can address a number of issues caused by periodontal disease.
Signs and Symptoms of Periodontal Disease
Here are ways to tell if you have gum disease.
Gum disease is caused by the buildup of bacteria in the mouth. When the bacteria doesn’t get brushed away, it forms plaque, which eventually turns into tartar, which then infects the gums around your teeth. Some common symptoms of periodontal disease include:
- Bad breath
- A bad taste in your mouth that won’t go away
- Red, swollen, tender or bleeding gums
- Pain when chewing
- Loose teeth
- Teeth sensitivity
- Gums pulling away from your teeth
- A feeling that your teeth don’t feel right when you bite
- If you have dentures, a feeling that they no longer fit properly
As soon as you notice any changes to your gums, especially bleeding, you should speak to us about periodontal treatments in Lakewood, Colorado.
Take Care of Those Teeth!
Here’s how to keep them healthy.
Brush Your Teeth Twice a Day
Even on the sleepiest of evenings when you can’t wait to lay your head on your pillow, brushing your teeth is a must. It can be easy to skip this step, but it is the best way to get rid of the germs and plaque that build up on your teeth all day long.
Use the Right Brushing Technique
- Place your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle to the gums.
- Gently move the brush back and forth in short (tooth-wide) strokes.
- Brush the outer surfaces, the inner surfaces, and the chewing surfaces of the teeth.
- To clean the inside surfaces of the front teeth, tilt the brush vertically and make several up-and-down strokes.
- Remind yourself to not brush too hard!
Brush Your Tongue
Brush your tongue when brushing your teeth. Some toothbrushes actually have a rough back designed for tongue brushing. However, you can also gently brush your tongue with the bristles.
Use Hydroxyapatite Toothpaste
Try to get a toothpaste that contains hydroxyapatite! These substances act as an agent to reduce your teeth’s demineralization process. They help the enamel stay strong and resist breaking down. If you’re at a loss for which to pick, look for the ADA seal of acceptance to ensure you’re getting the best toothpaste for your teeth, or ask your Lakewood dentist!
Don't Forget to Floss Once a Day
Your toothbrush can’t reach between your teeth, so flossing is a must to remove debris. It also stimulates your gums and keeps them healthy while reducing plaque buildup. Flossing just once a day will greatly improve your oral health regime and help you take care of your teeth.
Breathe Through the Nose
Breathing through your nose is a MAJOR way to prevent tooth decay! When we breathe through our nose, we warm and humidify the air we are breathing, as well as disinfect it. When we breathe through our mouths, we dehydrate our mouths, lead to more plaque buildup, and change the acidity of the mouth. If you can’t breathe through your nose, that is a red flag that there is something going on with your breathing patterns, jaw structure, or nasal structure. Not being able to breathe through your nose warrants further evaluation, not just for your teeth health, but for your whole body health! Sometimes this is as simple as strengthening the muscles of the lips and tongue. This is called myofunctional therapy, and we see many health improvements by using it!
Drink Lots of Water
Keeping your mouth moist helps wash away debris, sugars, and acidic foods between brushings. Water has many health benefits and should always be the drink of choice throughout the day.
See Your Dentist Twice a Year
Last but not least, to take care of your teeth, be sure to visit your dental clinic in Lakewood, CO for a dental cleaning twice a year, or as recommended for your specific needs. This will help your dentist keep an eye on your dental health while also providing professional cleanings to remove plaque.
We're Not Just Tooth Doctors
We’re here for your whole health, not just the health of your teeth.
At Fox Point Dental in Lakewood, Colorado, we take a holistic approach to dentistry and focus on the overall health of our patients. As functional dentists, we don't just treat dental issues at face value. We investigate the root cause of the problem to provide long-lasting solutions.
Good oral hygiene practices like brushing, flossing, and using mouthwash, as well as regular dental cleanings, are essential. However, they don't always address the underlying cause of dental issues such as tooth decay, misaligned teeth, bad breath, and others. These problems can stem from airway obstructions, overcrowded mouths, and narrow dental arches resulting from mouth breathing and sleep-disordered breathing.
Our focus on functional dentistry allows us to address the source of the problem and prevent future dental problems, while improving the quality of your life. Our aim is to help you and your loved ones smile with confidence, breathe easier, and lead a healthier life. We cater to patients of all ages and provide comprehensive dental care, from preventative cleanings to advanced procedures.