Wayzata, Minnesota

Periodontal Disease

It doesn't have to happen to you!

First the Bad News

Periodontal (gum and bone) disease is the major cause of tooth loss in adults. In fact, more than half of all adults over age 18 have the early stages of this disease and three out of four adults will be affected by it.

Now for the good news --

Although periodontal disease is common, it can be prevented or slowed with proper care. We have the skills to diagnose gingivitis (gum) and periodontal (bone) disease and to implement a thorough yet comfortable treatment to keep the underlying support for your teeth strong and healthy. We have the expertise to support a non-surgical approach and to develop a comprehensive plan for treatment and maintenance based on your special situation. If necessary, we can develop a team approach with an area Periodontist.

Don’t Wait Until it Hurts!

Early detection is the key to prevention. Periodontal disease progresses slowly over the course of many years, often without causing any special discomfort until later stages when it may be too late. It begins with gingivitis (gum inflammation) which gradually extends below the gum line. Eventually this disease affects the entire gum, bone, and other supporting structures of the teeth. If untreated, it can cause the loss of cavity-free teeth. The main warning signs of periodontal disease are:

Causes of Periodontal Disease and its Progression

Plaque, a colorless, sticky film, produces acids that over time can irritate the gums causing them to become red, tender, swollen, and to bleed easily. Plaque that is not removed hardens into calculus (tartar) that makes the removal of new plaque more difficult. Eventually the irritants in plaque will destroy the tissues that attach the gums to the teeth. This causes the gums to pull away from the teeth, forming small pockets that become filled with more plaque. Finally, the irritants, if not stopped, will destroy the bone supporting the teeth. Systemic factors also play a role in periodontal disease. At this point, the disease, now referred to as periodontitis, has caused irreversible damage. Although the process can be controlled, you have now experienced some bone loss and will therefore, at least technically, always have periodontal disease.

Control and Treatment

Except in the most advanced cases, periodontal disease may be treated. Treatment depends upon the extent to which the disease has progressed. Periodontal charting is used to determine the extent of the disease process and as an important tool for successful home care. Bacteria monitoring helps to alleviate destructive bacteria. We may assist you in reducing the level of bacteria through correct brushing and flossing and other specific techniques tailored to your individual needs. Sometimes it is necessary to work with a gum and bone specialist called a Periodontist.

Gentle Care

With current techniques there does not have to be any physical pain. To dispel any apprehension, we take the time to completely explain what is going to be done, why it is being done, and the short term and long term effects you can expect. We have nitrous oxide anesthesia and a personal stereo available for relaxation. We believe it is important to understand what causes periodontal disease, to learn and practice good oral health habits, and to seek regular professional.

We take pride in providing comfortable, quality dental care.