Periodontal Disease Services in Omaha, NE
Periodontal disease, commonly called gum disease, is the most common disease known to man. Gingivitis is the first stage; it is characterized by the bleeding and sore gums. As the disease progresses, you lose bone around your teeth.
Paul Krause Dental in Omaha, NE can diagnose gum disease problems with a full dental exam. Your bone levels need to be determined then an appropriate treatment plan can be developed. If there is significant loss of bone the first stage is a very thorough procedure called scaling and root planing. Often we will use prescription mouth rinse and other medications to help get the infection under control. Periodontal disease is not curable but with good routine care it can be arrested.
Causes and Early Signs of Periodontal Disease
The primary cause of periodontal disease is plaque. Plaque is a sticky film of food debris, bacteria, and saliva. If plaque is not removed, it turns into calculus (tartar). When plaque and calculus are not removed, they begin to destroy the gums and bone. Similarly, gingivitis causes the gums to become red, swollen, and bleed easily. At this stage, the disease is still reversible and can usually be eliminated by a professional cleaning at our Omaha dental office and improved at-home oral care.
If gingivitis is not treated, it can advance to periodontitis. Periodontitis destroys the tissue that supports your teeth and bone. As periodontitis progresses, the gum tissue pulls away from your teeth and forms spaces (called “pockets”) that become filled with plaque and calculus. As the disease progresses, the pockets deepen and more gum tissue and bone are destroyed. The teeth may eventually become loose which could result in tooth loss.
Preventing the Progression of Periodontal Disease
The best way to prevent the progression of periodontal disease is to maintain a good oral hygiene routine at home. This means brushing twice a day, flossing once a day and using an antibacterial mouth rinse daily. It is also important to have regular dental checkups and cleanings at least twice a year. If you have been diagnosed with periodontal disease it is especially important to keep up with your scheduled appointments so that we can help you keep the disease from progressing.
Fortunately, you can help prevent gingivitis — and even reverse it in its early stages — by visiting Paul Krause Dental for regular checkups, professional cleanings, and dental services.
Gum Disease Treatments in Omaha, NE
Scaling and Root Planing
Root plane and scale is a procedure often referred to as a “deep cleaning”. This type of cleaning is the primary treatment for periodontal disease. After receiving either a topical pain free anesthesia or traditional anesthesia to numb the gums a hygienist will use ultrasonic and hand instruments to clean the deposits off the teeth and ‘plane’ the roots. The roots are smoothed in this manner in order to remove toxins embedded in the root surface that were deposited there by the tartar. When the whole mouth has been treated the patient will often be asked to use a medicated mouth rinse for up to six weeks then return to the office for a follow up appointment.
Follow-up Perio Maintenance
This follow up appointment is called a perio-maintenance. The hygienist will check the condition of the gum line to record how much healing has taken place and a cleaning will be done to remove new deposit and check for any old deposit that may have been inaccessible during the root plane and scale. A cleaning schedule will then be established. People who suffer from gum disease often need their teeth cleaned more than twice a year in order to maintain health. The doctor and hygienist will review their findings and either recommend a three, four or six month cleaning schedule.
Root Plan and Scale Post Operative Care
Take over-the-counter pain relief medication (what you would normally take for a headache) as soon as you get home. Rinse with warm salt water every few hours for the rest of today and tomorrow (1/2 tsp. salt in a glass of lukewarm water).
Do not brush or floss the treated area for the rest of that day and into the night. The following day resume your regular brushing and flossing.
You may experience tender gums, and sensitivity to cold. For sensitivity to cold we recommend toothpaste for sensitive teeth and prescription fluoride rinses, i.e. MI Paste.
Remember, the treatment of periodontal disease is an ongoing lifelong process. It is very important to get your teeth cleaned every three months for the next year and to maintain your oral hygiene every day.
Please don’t hesitate to contact our Omaha office if any questions or problems arise.