Gum disease remains a leading cause of tooth loss in adults and can be easily prevented and treated with routine dental care in our Louisville, KY dentist office. Dr. Westermann and her staff promote healthy gums as the foundation for overall oral health and wellness. The gums are important not only for the health of the smile, but the aesthetics as well. Recent scientific studies show a connection between gum disease and serious systemic diseases including diabetes, heart disease, respiratory disease, stroke, pancreatic cancer, and Alzheimer’s Disease. These studies show that the infection in your mouth may serve as an entry point for bacteria to invade your body.Healthy gums will support healthy teeth.
During routine preventive dental care, Dr. Westermann will perform a periodontal screening to look for the early signs of gum disease and recommend appropriate treatment to avoid future damage to teeth and gums. For patients with varying stages of gum disease, we offer periodontal therapy to restore oral health.
Stages of Gum Disease
Gum disease is divided into two stages of development and Dr. Westermann will assess your periodontal health during a thorough exam and screening. Each phase is characterized by the degree of damage to gum tissue and tooth structure.
- Gingivitis: early stage gum disease is called gingivitis and often causes bleeding gums when brushing teeth or flossing. In this stage, inflammation has begun to set in as bacteria affects the gum line.
- Periodontitis – advanced gum disease, periodontitis can eventually lead to tooth loss as the supporting structures are weakened by infection of the gums and tooth roots. Patients may notice loose teeth and receding gums as this stage advances.
Dr. Westermann offers several options for treating gum disease, including laser dentistry for advanced cases. Depending on the severity of your gum disease, she may recommend any of the following to restore oral health:
- Antibacterial rinse and at home oral hygiene: for early stage gum disease, these conservative measures are often effective at halting progression and allowing tissue to heal.
- Scaling and root planing: this is an intense cleaning of the deep pockets of the gum and tooth roots to prevent further damage.</li.
- Laser dentistry: Dr. Westermann may use the Waterlase dental laser to remove damaged gum tissue and promote healing for patients with more advanced gum disease.
About Perio Protect
During your periodontal screening, Dr. Westermann will determine of you are a candidate for Perio Protect.
Perio Protect is a non-invasive method to kill and control the bacteria that cause gum disease. By wearing a comfortable tray with a hydrogen peroxide solution in it, you can reduce inflammation and eliminate the bacteria that cause gum disease. The trays are FDA approved medical devices and are made to specifically fit your mouth in a way that applies the solution down into the tissue surrounding each tooth- where the bacteria hide. It is a simple non-surgical, affordable alternative to traditional periodontal therapy.