Periodontal Care

Protecting Your Smile’s Foundation

Within dentistry, periodontics is a specialty focus on the gums and other supporting structures of your teeth. The goal is to identify, treat, and prevent periodontal disease and other inflammations of the area. The gums act as a barrier against bacteria and seal around the roots of your teeth. When your gums are weakened, your teeth and roots become vulnerable to infection, so it’s imperative to keep them strong and healthy. Having good periodontal health protects you not only from adult tooth loss but also other health problems including heart disease, diabetes, and stroke. 

Here at Elevate Dental Wellness, we take special care to ensure our patients have a beautiful, functional, and disease-free smile. Dr. Van Gorden and Dr. Steinbach provide high-quality periodontal care to make sure your gums are well protected and your smile is as healthy as possible.

A woman looking in the mirror and touching her jaw in pain

How Periodontal Disease Begins

Your mouth has its own microbiome that works around the clock to help keep your mouth and body healthy. However, when too much bacteria is left in our mouths, that microbiome becomes unbalanced and can lead to problems. Proper oral care like flossing, rinsing after meals, and brushing can help remove the debris and prevent the build-up of bacteria.

  • The bacteria will form a sticky film-like substance on the surface of your teeth called plaque. Plaque can be removed with brushing and flossing. However, in order to reach all the surfaces of your teeth, you’ll need to visit Dr. Steinbach. Even with the most routine care, only a professional cleaning will ensure total protection. 
  • If plaque is left untreated, it will harden into calculus (tartar) which only special dental tools are able to remove. 
  • Over time, plaque and calculus will eat away at the enamel of your teeth and can cause damage to your gum’s soft tissues. This can result in not only a receding gumline but also cavities and tooth decay
  • Untreated tooth decay can lead to infections (such as periodontal disease), tooth loss, and can affect the rest of your body as well.

Stages of Periodontal Disease

One of the reasons Dr. Steinbach and Dr. Van Gorden recommend biannual dental visits is to catch problems before they occur. Before periodontal disease (gum disease) sets in, there are other stages that are easier to treat, so it’s important to visit our office for regular checkups. Without a healthy oral care routine the following stages occur:

  1. Gingivitis: The gums become red or inflamed and may bleed when brushed. This is the only stage of periodontal disease that is reversible through good oral hygiene and thorough dental cleanings. 
  2. Early (or slight) periodontitis: The infection has spread to the supporting bone structures of your teeth. During this stage, the untreated bacteria have become more aggressive and can cause bone loss. 
  3. Moderate periodontitis: In addition to bone loss, the bacteria has now gotten into your bloodstream and can affect your immune system as a result. Tooth loss, gum sensitivity, and tooth shifting can also develop in this stage. 
  4. Advanced periodontitis: In this stage, the bacteria have evolved again and can increase your risk of tooth and bone loss. As a result, you can develop red, oozing, and swollen gums as well as severe halitosis (bad breath) and pain while chewing. 
Signs of Periodontal Disease
Signs of Periodontal Disease

Patients with gingivitis or early to moderate periodontitis may experience:

  • Halitosis (bad breath)
  • Bleeding when flossing or brushing
  • Swollen, puffy, or red gums
  • Sensitive gums
  • Receding gum line

Patients with advanced periodontitis may experience:

  • Loose teeth or tooth loss
  • Exceedingly receding gumline
  • Misaligned bite
  • Sensitive gums
  • Bleeding or Oozing gums
Oral Hygiene Tips
Oral Hygiene Tips

Healthy gums and surrounding soft tissues are needed in order to support your teeth. Having a good oral hygiene routine is a simple way to prevent periodontal problems and increase your overall oral health. In addition to regular visits to our Basalt office, Dr. Van Gorden and Dr. Steinbach recommend the following practices to include in your daily routine:

  • Brushing your teeth twice a day with fluoride-free toothpaste and a soft-bristled brush.  
  • Flossing at least once a day. Doing so at night can prevent you from going to bed with leftover food in your teeth.
  • Rinsing after meals. This is one of the quickest and easiest ways to prevent leftover debris after eating.

Effective Treatments at Elevate Dental Wellness

After a thorough examination, Dr. Van Gorden and Dr. Steinbach will determine the best treatment for you. Depending on the severity of your periodontitis, we offer a variety of treatment options including non-surgical procedures like scaling and root planing. If you suffer from advanced periodontitis, a surgical procedure such as pocket depth reduction, guided tissue regeneration, or soft tissue graft may be needed to prevent further damage. Our office offers safe sedation therapy to ensure a painless experience for you while we treat you. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Can periodontal disease be treated at home?
How is periodontitis diagnosed?
Can periodontal disease be treated at home?

No. The only stage of periodontal disease that can be reversed is gingivitis. However, only a trained professional can remove the plaque and tartar that cause and aggravate the disease with the use of special dental tools.

How is periodontitis diagnosed?

At each check-up at Elevate Dental Wellness, our team will thoroughly examine your mouth, teeth, gums, and jaw. If there are any warning signs, we’ll probe our gums and measure how deep your periodontal pockets are. If they are beyond the normal range, we’ll discuss treatment options to bring your gums back to optimal health.

Elevate Your Periodontal Care Today

Prevention and early intervention is the best way to tackle periodontal issues and at Elevate Dental Wellness, our experienced team will effectively treat your symptoms at any stage. Schedule a consultation by calling (970) 279-5647 or request an appointment at our Basalt office by filling out our online contact form below.

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