Tips for Preventing Periodontal Disease

periodontal disease

The condition of your gums is an integral part of the health and beauty of your smile.  Many adults in the U.S. currently have some form of gum (periodontal) disease. Periodontal diseases range from simple gum inflammation to serious damage to the soft tissue and bone that support the teeth. Gums anchor your teeth to the jaw, and protect the roots from the dangers of plaque and bacteria. When gums decay and start to recede, it can greatly impact your teeth and your overall health. You can stop your gum disease in its tracks if you commit to safeguarding your teeth and gums every day. Periodontal treatment from our Family & Cosmetic Dentistry of the Rockies team can return your gums to optimal health.


Periodontal Disease: What Is It?

Periodontal disease goes by many names. It is a chronic inflammatory disease that affects the structure of the gums and the bones that support the teeth. You may know it by the term “gum disease” or possibly “gingivitis”. It is also known as periodontitis. The different names stem from the stage of gum disease a patient has. The first stage is gingivitis, which is highly common among Americans. The more severe stage past gingivitis is periodontitis or periodontal disease.


Gingivitis is the beginning stage of gum disease and is caused by irritation from plaque. Plaque causes tooth erosion and tooth decay if it’s not properly cleaned from the teeth. This plaque also irritates the gums and causes them to become red, swollen and irritated over time. You may begin to notice periodontal disease starting if the gums begin to bleed easily, especially when flossing.


Who Is Affected?

Believe it or not, but millions of Americans are affected by periodontal disease. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that 64.7 million American adults have some form of gum disease. That equates to about 47.2% of all American adults, or about half in the nation. That number doesn’t even include children! An estimated 8.7% of adults have mild periodontitis (gingivitis stage), while 30% have moderate and 8.5% have severe periodontal disease.


In the later stage of the disease, the gums recede so much that the teeth fall out. Once one tooth falls out, a domino effect can occur due to weakened gums and bones, meaning you could lose a lot of teeth very quickly. Studies show that the disease is more prevalent with age, with more than 70% of adults over 65 years old having periodontitis. Men tend to have the disease at a higher rate than women as well.


What Treatments Are Available?

If you’re going to have gum disease, you want it to be in the very earliest stages. Gum disease can be halted and reversed if you are still in the gingivitis stage. Gums that bleed easily and are red, irritated and swollen can turn into healthy gum tissue once more with proper care. Treatment is more difficult in later stages of gum disease when the gum tissue and bones have become weak. We have two types of periodontal treatments for our patients: surgical and non-surgical.


Our non-surgical treatments for patients with less severe periodontitis include:


Our surgical treatments for severe periodontitis include:

  • Gingival grafting to treat extreme gum recession or cover an exposed tooth root
  • Dental implants to replace missing teeth
  • Gum pocket reduction to decrease chance of infection and to halt the progression of gum disease
  • Bone grafting for dental implant placement
  • Ridge augmentation to reinforce the jawbone and restore the jaw’s natural shape after teeth have been lost
  • Crown lengthening to expose more of the tooth from the gum line


Preventing Periodontal Disease

The good news with periodontal disease is that it is completely and 100% avoidable. It’s a disease you never have to live with if you take care of your oral health. The best preventative measure you can take is to brush and floss your teeth every single day. Brush and floss multiple times a day. If you want to go above the basic guideline of twice a day, you can clean your teeth after every meal to keep your teeth and gums especially healthy.


Come see us at least biannually (or every 6 months) for a comprehensive exam and a professional dental cleaning. This is one of the best ways that we can personally help you see the signs of periodontal disease and avoid its progression. Prevention is always key when it comes to many oral health problems.


Schedule Your Appointment

If you are due for your comprehensive exam or dental cleaning, simply call our Family & Cosmetic Dentistry of the Rockies office today at (970) 223-8425. We can provide you basic preventative treatments to keep your teeth healthy and vibrant. If periodontal disease is present in any of its forms, we can help you with effective gum treatments today. A better smile is just one call away!