Rejuvenating Periodontal Therapy in Lincoln, NE
At Smile Specialties, it’s imperative to Dr. Jennifer Reed and the rest of our team that patients have a strong, healthy oral foundation in place to support the quality restorative work we provide. That’s why the early detection and treatment of periodontal (gum) disease is so important. This infection may begin gradually, but cases allowed to advance can result in significant tissue deterioration, tooth loss, and other devastating consequences.
We’ve made periodontal screenings a vital part of each and every routine examination for the safety of your patients. In addition to effective treatment options, our team also provides professional maintenance that keeps the infection at bay and diligent patient education that can enhance your at-home oral hygiene routine to its fullest potential. Contact our Lincoln, NE office today to schedule your initial consultation.
Treatment Options for Periodontal Disease
Scaling & Root Planing – This in-depth cleaning targets infectious bacteria that have accumulated under the gum tissue. Our team will also smooth the surfaces of tooth roots, which are likely targets for bacteria and plaque as well.
Soft Tissue Laser Treatment – Our state-of-the-art ZAP laser will be used to precisely and comfortably remove diseased tissue from the mouth and treat deep periodontal pockets.
Antibiotic Therapy – Antibiotic therapy is typically used in conjunction with the above treatment methods in order to more effectively block and eliminate bacteria that may have been left behind. Dr. Reed recommends both Periostat and tetracycline-containing gel as needed.
Periodontal Therapy FAQs
Gum disease can sneak up on you when you least expect it, which is exactly why preventive dental habits are crucial for catching before it causes damage to your oral health. If you’ve never had gum disease before or have questions on what to expect from periodontal therapy, please take a look at the most common questions our office hears below. Your question very well may have already been answered. If not, feel free to give us a call or ask us during your next appointment.
What causes periodontal (gum) disease?
The main cause of gum disease is unremoved plaque and tartar on the gum tissue, causing it to become irritated and inflamed. This usually occurs when oral hygiene is not being practice properly or often enough. However, there are other causes of gum disease as well, such as tobacco use. During your appointment, our team will confirm the cause of your gum disease in order to help you prevent it from coming back later.
What are the early signs of periodontal disease?
The problem with gum disease is that it largely flies under the radar, making it difficult to catch until its already started causing damage to your gum tissue. With that said, there are some signs you can keep an eye out for, including:
- Red, swollen, tender, sensitive, or bleeding gums
- Gums that pull away from teeth, also known as recession
- Chronic bad breath
- Loose teeth or ill-fitting dentures
- Changes in the way your teeth come together when biting down
Which periodontal treatment is best for me?
If you have gum disease, we’ll more than likely start you off with a round of scaling and root planing. This treatment works to remove plaque and tartar from all areas of the mouth, particularly from enamel that sits underneath the gums. This is exactly why brushing and flossing at home does nothing to treat gum disease once it has developed. If damaged tissued needs to be removed, we make use of a soft tissue laser. This device is far more precise than traditional dental instruments and helps us salvage as much healthy tissue as possible.
Does periodontal therapy hurt?
Prior to beginning your gum therapy, we administer a sufficient amount of local anesthetic directly into the gum tissue. This numbs the gums prior to treatment, ensuring you feel no sensation before we begin. With that said, you may feel some soreness after the anesthetic wears off, but this can be managed with over-the-counter medications as needed. We do offer sedation dentistry if you’re feeling nervous about upcoming treatment as well.
What comes after treatment?
Following the end of your gum therapy, we’ll schedule you for a follow-up appointment as part of your professional maintenance. These visits work to prevent the infection from coming back, which can easily occur. It’s also why we provide antibiotic therapy, which is used in tandem with your other therapeutic treatments to promote healing. At this time, Dr. Reed uses Periostat and tetracycline-gel to encourage healing of the gums in between deep cleanings.