We believe it’s our job to protect your whole health by providing superior, long-term preventive and restorative dental care. When your oral health declines, so does your overall health, as demonstrated by periodontal disease (gum disease). Periodontal disease is not just a serious dental concern — it has been linked to heart disease and diabetes, as well as low birth weight in children born to women with periodontal disease.
Periodontal disease is characterized by red, swollen, bleeding, or receding gums; bad breath; painful chewing; and loose teeth. It starts when plaque, which is made of bacteria, mucus, and other substances found in the mouth, hardens into a substance called tartar, which can only be removed with a professional cleaning. If plaque and tartar are not removed, the bacteria eventually cause a mild form of periodontal disease called gingivitis, in which the gums bleed and become red and swollen. At this stage, the condition is still reversible and can be treated with a professional dental cleaning and regular brushing and flossing. However, when left untreated, the periodontal disease worsens, leading to an advanced form called periodontitis that can cause severe damage to the soft tissue that supports the teeth, resulting in infection and eventual tooth loss.
At Smith & Wetterhus Dentistry, we offer a variety of periodontal therapy methods that treat periodontal disease at its various stages. Periodontal therapy begins with a consultation and exam, so we can determine the stage of the disease and develop a treatment plan. Plaque and tartar will be removed from both above and below the gumline, and locally applied medications, such as antimicrobials and antibiotics, may be used. You’ll then receive instructions on specific oral hygiene techniques to use regularly at home.
Periodontal disease is preventable and treatable, and we are dedicated to helping you maintain the best oral health possible throughout your life.