Periodontal Therapy

Share:

Periodontal Treatment in Maplewood, MN 

At Maplewood Dental Associates, we believe everyone deserves a beautiful, healthy smile – and our mission is to make that smile last a lifetime. As a premier multi-specialty dentist serving the Maplewood, MN area, we're proud to offer a comprehensive suite of dental treatments and services to our patients in a friendly, comfortable office environment. In addition to general and cosmetic dental treatments like fillings and teeth cleaning, we also offer treatment for the important tissue that supports the teeth: the gums. 

About Periodontal Disease

Periodontal Disease.You probably already know that you need to brush and floss your teeth to prevent cavity and tooth decay – but it turns out there's another nasty condition that can endanger your teeth without proper oral hygiene. Periodontal disease, or gum disease, is a progressive condition that targets the gums. Just about anyone who doesn't maintain good daily oral hygiene will develop the first stage of periodontal disease, gingivitis. Gingivitis is generally a mild condition, but if left untreated, it can progress quickly. Advanced periodontal disease can cause serious problems including tooth and bone loss. 

Signs and Symptoms of Periodontal Disease

While periodontal disease can become incredibly serious, it starts out as a mild and often overlooked condition. In fact, gum disease often begins with virtually no obvious symptoms, especially for smokers (nicotine limits the blood supply to the gums, masking the bleeding and swelling that normally accompanies gum disease). That said, there are a number of key symptoms of periodontal disease you should keep an eye out for:

  • Bleeding Gums: It's normal for gums to bleed when you first start flossing or if you haven't flossed for a long time, but that should fade after a few days – any other gum bleeding is a cause for concern. If your gums bleed when you brush or floss for a prolonged period, this is a major warning side.
  • Chronic Halitosis (Bad Breath): Some forms of bad breath come from foods like garlic or onions, but if bad breath is persistent and doesn't go away, it could be a sign of gum disease.
    Swollen or Inflamed Gums: If your gums look red or swollen, that's often an early sign of periodontal disease.
  • Receding Gums: Ever noticed your teeth looking longer than normal? That's not a sign of growth – it means your gums are receding, causing your teeth to appear longer because more root surface is exposed. This is a common sign of gum disease.
  • Sensitive Teeth: When gums recede, they expose the tooth root, which isn't covered with the protective enamel that normally shields teeth. This can cause tooth sensitivity, which is another common sign of gum disease.
  • Periodontal Abscess: Sometimes, bacteria can get trapped in a periodontal pocket (the area between the gum and the tooth). This can cause the area to swell, fill with pus, and become painful.
  • Loose Teeth: In more severe stages of periodontal disease, the jawbone can begin to deteriorate, causing teeth to feel loose or migrate positions. This is a serious condition, and if you notice loose teeth, you should contact us immediately.

Periodontal Treatment Options

While periodontal disease is serious and can threaten the integrity of your teeth and smile, Maplewood Dental Associates provides a number of treatment options. Your Maplewood dentist will work with you to choose the option that's right for you:

  • Full-Mouth Debridement: This is essentially a more thorough form of teeth cleaning. We'll use a variety of specialized dental instruments to clear away plaque and bacteria, helping to clean the mouth and letting us see a clearer picture of your oral and periodontal health. 
  • Scaling: Scaling is the process of using specialized dental implements to scrape away the plaque, tartar, and bacteria that cause periodontal disease. Your dentist may use a manual handheld instrument or an ultrasonic instrument, which vibrates at a high frequency to aid in removal of plaque. In tooth scaling, your dentist will remove all decay above the surface of the gum line. 
  • Root Planing: Root planing is similar to dental scaling, but the process takes place underneath the gum line. As before, your dentist will use a manual or ultrasonic instrument to scrape away plaque and bacteria – but this time, it will happen underneath the gums, helping to reverse the effects of gingivitis and gum disease.

Depending on your specific case, we may use local anesthetics or antibiotics to keep you comfortable during the procedure or kill any bacteria present on the teeth. Your dentist may combine any of these techniques to attempt to reverse gum disease, and we're proud to offer all of them in our Maplewood dental office. In some severe cases, we may need to perform periodontal surgery – and if that's the case for you, your dentist will talk with you to explain your options.

How Gum Disease Affects Your Overall Health

 Periodontal Disease Can Affect Your Heart and Body.

Periodontal disease is already a serious condition because it can threaten the integrity of your smile, but it's also been linked to more serious whole-body conditions like cardiovascular disease (CVD), diabetes, and even preterm birth. While scientists still don't understand why this happens, there are two main theories. 

One is that severe periodontal disease drives systemic (whole body) inflammation, a condition shared by all chronic inflammatory diseases. Furthermore, some of the same bacterial strains found in gum disease have also been found in the blood vessel plaque of individuals with cardiovascular disease. The exact implications of these findings still aren't understood, but it's safe to say that preventing or treating periodontal disease is vital for the health of your teeth and your body.

How to Prevent Gum Disease

How to Floss Your Teeth

Thankfully, preventing periodontal disease is fairly simple: just maintain a strong, diligent oral hygiene. This means you should floss daily, brush your teeth at least twice a day, and maintain regular dental checkups every 3-6 months depending on what your dentist recommends. Brushing and flossing help ward off the daily build-up of bacteria, while office checkups help us deep clean your teeth, spot periodontal and other oral diseases before they get serious, and assess the health of your jawbone through x-rays.

In addition to these steps, we'd recommend maintaining a healthy diet, keeping up an exercise routine, reducing stress, and giving up bad habits like smoking. Doing this will help keep your teeth – and your whole body – healthy for a lifetime.

Schedule an Appointment with Your Maplewood, MN Multi-Specialty Dentist

Gum disease is a persistent danger to your teeth and gums, but with preventative care and regular checkups at our Maplewood dental office, you can keep your smile healthy for the rest of your life. Feel free to call us at 651-770-3831 if you have more questions on preventing periodontal disease, and don't hesitate to request an appointment online if you'd like to come by our office. We look forward to helping you ward off periodontal disease and protect the health of your teeth!

Related Articles

Periodontal (Gum) Disease - Dear Doctor Magazine

Understanding Gum (Periodontal) Disease Have your gums ever bled when you brushed or flossed? This most commonly overlooked simple sign may be the start of a silent progressive disease leading to tooth loss. Learn what you can do to prevent this problem and keep your teeth for life... Read Article

Link Between Heart and Gum Disease - Dear Doctor Magazine

The Link Between Heart & Gum Diseases Inflammation has emerged as a factor in the process of cardiovascular disease (CVD), which commonly results in heart attacks and strokes. While the precise role inflammation plays in causing chronic CVD remains an area of intense investigation, much more is now known. The good news is that, based on current research, we know that if we can reduce the inflammation caused by periodontal disease, we may reduce the risk for heart attacks and strokes... Read Article

Periodontal Plastic Surgery - Dear Doctor Magazine

Periodontal Plastic Surgery Millions of Americans have some degree of gum recession — a loss of the tough, pink tissue that surrounds teeth. Receding gums can cause anything from minor tooth sensitivity to tooth loss in very severe cases. Fortunately, the field of periodontal plastic surgery has made enormous strides in devising techniques, including grafting, to deal with the problem of lost or damaged gum tissue... Read Article

Pregnancy and Oral Health - Dear Doctor Magazine

Pregnancy & Oral Health Pregnancy is generally thought of as the time when a woman strives to be particularly aware of the need for better health. Many women, though, may not be aware of the link that exists between their oral health and their systemic (general) health, as well as the impact this can have on a developing child. Learn about how to care for yourself and your baby... Read Article