Periodontal disease is one of the most common and under-treated dental health issues in America, affecting roughly 75% of adults. It is a chronic inflammation in the teeth, jaw bones and gums, which results in a progressive and persistent destruction of the supporting structures of the teeth. Symptoms of the disease include swollen and bleeding gums, a receding gum line, and loose teeth. If left untreated, these symptoms may progress to tooth loss, chronic bad breath, and various related systemic problems, including heart disease, diabetes, stroke, and pre-mature births.
Though gum disease is not entirely preventable (depending on your oral health history and genetics) it can be managed with proper dental hygiene and routine professional cleanings. At Poulos & Somers in Denver, we help our perio patients maintain healthy gums and work with them to develop a personalized treatment plan to manage their disease.
At Poulos & Somers, our experts offer specialized care to help patients with the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of periodontal disease. Periodontists receive extensive training in these areas, including three additional years of education beyond dental school. Our specialists are familiar with the latest techniques for diagnosing and treating periodontal disease, and are also trained in performing cosmetic periodontal procedures. Whether you suffer from periodontal disease, or you want to improve the appearance of your smile, our nationally recognized periodontists can help!
As periodontal specialists, we offer a wide range of treatments to help our patients achieve optimal dental health. We offer minimally invasive options like pinhole therapy, LANAP laser therapy, and OralDNA to diagnose and treat periodontal issues. We also offer gingival grafting to treat receding gum lines and bring your smile back to full health and confidence. Give us a call or contact us online today to learn more about our periodontal options in Denver.
If you have a receding gum line due to periodontal disease, we offer periodontal plastic surgery to improve the health and appearance of your smile. A soft tissue graft procedure will prevent additional recession and bone loss, helping to develop gum tissue where absent. During this procedure, our specialists will take a small piece of gum tissue either from your palate or another donor source to cover the exposed root. This tried and true grafting method offers patients effective, efficient treatment with minimal discomfort.
With laser periodontal therapy (LPT), we are able to treat your periodontal disease in a less invasive manner by using advanced technology. Lasers help preserve gum tissue during your treatment and can result in a faster recovery. The goal of LPT, like other periodontal therapies, is to reverse some of the effects of the disease and to stabilize your condition, helping you to maintain a healthy mouth in the future. With LANAP Laser Periodontal Therapy, your treatment and recovery are as easy as possible.
To ensure that we deliver the best possible treatment, we need to understand what we’re working with. We use OralDNA and their suite of salivary DNA tests to determine if you are at risk for periodontal disease and what the cause of infection is.
MyPerioID® tests, including IL-1 and IL-6, help us identify your genetic susceptibility to periodontal disease due to exaggerated immune response. These tests can help us determine your risk before symptoms appear so we can get ahead of the problem with more personalized and precise treatment.
MyPerioPath® can tell us what type and concentration of disease-causing bacteria is present in your mouth, and also helps us classify your level of risk. This information allows us to create highly personalized treatment plans and helps us prepare patients for what to expect for the future of their oral health.
These simple, non-invasive tests give our Denver experts detailed information that help us create an appropriate treatment plan tailored to your specific needs.
One of the most intriguing solutions in periodontal treatment and care is Periodontal Regenerative Therapy. Periodontal regeneration is defined as the reproduction or reconstruction of lost or injured tissue so that the form and function of the lost structures are restored. By recruiting your own cells to restore the tissue, we can help you heal better and more quickly after treatment. Using your cells is also beneficial in that it allows us to have more predictability in process and procedure.
Put simply, periodontal disease is caused by inadequate oral hygiene. When you neglect to brush or floss or you don’t do it for long enough, you leave behind food particles that bacteria feed off of and form into plaque.
These bacteria transform sugars into acids that produce acid attacks that damage your enamel. However, without treatment plaque hardens into tartar and leads to gum inflammation and infection.
The first stage of gum disease is gingivitis. However, once this early stage is missed, it will progress into periodontitis. This is when you run into more severe problems. As your gums become inflamed, they recede, forming deeper gum pockets and the damage to your gums and bone tissue is irreversible.
These pockets trap food particles and bacteria. This creates a vicious cycle of ongoing inflammation which creates the gum pockets to become deeper, making them more difficult to keep clean.
We can determine the stage of gum disease by measuring the depth of your gum pockets. Healthy gum pockets should be no more than 3 mm deep. A depth greater than 3 mm suggests gingivitis and a depth of 4 mm or greater is indicative of periodontitis.
Gingivitis - Gingivitis is an early and reversible stage of gum disease with minimal intervention. A simple cleaning from our Denver practice and a consistent oral hygiene routine can be enough to cure gingivitis.
However, the problem is that the symptoms are often so mild that they can go easily overlooked. When the symptoms are overlooked, they can advance into an irreversible stage. The symptoms of gingivitis include red, swollen, receding, and bleeding gums as well as foul-smelling breath.
Periodontitis - Periodontitis is a severe gum infection that causes irreversible damage to your bone and soft tissue. Symptoms will ramp up at this stage.
In addition to all of the symptoms that are present in gingivitis, the gums will become more severely receded to the point that your teeth may feel loose and your bite may feel different. As a result of bone destruction, teeth can fall out. You are likely to experience pain and tenderness in the gums, especially when chewing.
Technically, no. Gum recession is permanent in that once you lose gum tissue, it cannot grow back on its own. This is what we mean by periodontitis causing irreversible damage.
However, there are treatments such as deep cleanings which scrape away plaque and tartar buildup through scaling. Root planing then smooths out the roots of the teeth to make them easier to reattach the gums. When gum recession is severe, gum grafts can replace and regenerate lost gum tissue to restore the health of your gums.