Do you have questions about periodontal treatments? Read our FAQ page to find answers! We also welcome you to call our office at 913-268-0808 to schedule an appointment with Dr. William Strutz, our experienced periodontist in Shawnee, Kansas, if you have additional questions.

Why visit a periodontist?

A periodontist is a dental specialist who has completed several years of additional training following dental school in order to provide treatment for gum disease and related conditions. Dr. Strutz only treats periodontal disease, which has allowed him to develop enormous experience and knowledge in order to provide you with focused, individualized care. By visiting our periodontist, you are taking a step to ensure optimal results with the greatest possible comfort.

What is periodontal disease?

Periodontal disease, or gum disease, is an oral condition affecting the gums and supporting structures of your mouth. It begins as a bacterial infection and gradually progresses until it destroys your gums and supporting bone structure. You should be check for periodontal disease at each of your regular dental exams.

What are the signs of periodontal disease?

Signs of periodontal disease include:

  • Easy bleeding of the gums when you brush or floss
  • Red, swollen or tender gums
  • Bad breath or bad taste in the mouth
  • Loose teeth
  • Gum recession
  • Pus between the teeth and gums
  • Changes in your bite or in the fit of dentures

Are there different types of periodontal disease?

There are several types of periodontal disease:

  • Gingivitis — This is the earliest stage of gum disease and can often be successfully treated. It is characterized by inflammation, redness and swelling of the gums, as well as some bleeding of the gums.
  • Mild periodontitis — When gingivitis is untreated the infection spreads from the gums to the bone, and begins to destroy the supporting bone.
  • Moderate to severe periodontitis — The infection continues to worsen, damaging the supporting bone and fibers holding your teeth in place. Periodontal pockets develop and plaque spreads to the roots of the teeth. Immediate treatment at this stage can prevent further damage and tooth loss.
  • Advanced periodontitis — The final stage of gum disease, in which your supporting bone and other oral structures are destroyed, causing your teeth to loosen. This can affect your bite, causing further damage. Teeth may need to be removed to prevent additional damage.

What is juvenile periodontitis?

Juvenile periodontitis (JP) is a form of prepubertal periodontitis (PPP), is a rare and rapidly progressive disease which occurs in young children and teenagers. These forms of early onset periodontal disease are uncommon and are rapidly progressive, quickly leading to deep periodontal pockets with little or no inflammation of the gums. Please speak with our periodontist for more details.

What factors contribute to periodontal disease?

There are several factors which can increase your risk of developing gum disease. These include:

  • Smoking or the use of other tobacco products — those who use tobacco products are more likely to develop periodontal disease and suffer from its more severe forms. Tobacco use also impacts healing time and may make recovery from your treatment more difficult.
  • Poor oral hygiene — failing to brush and floss regularly greatly increases your risk of developing gum disease.
  • A family history of gum disease — about 30% of the population is genetically vulnerable to gum disease regardless of how well they care for their teeth. A genetic test can show if you are at greater risk and should consider visiting our periodontist regularly.
  • Pregnancy and puberty — these stages of life include hormonal fluctuations, which may cause your gums to become red and tender and bleed easily. Any preexisting gum disease can also be made more severe during these periods.
  • Systemic health conditions, such as diabetes, osteoporosis and heart disease — systemic medical conditions can cause or contribute to gum disease.
  • Stress — stress makes it more difficult for your body to fight infection, including gum disease.
  • Medications — certain medications can affect your oral health. Keep our periodontist informed of the medications you are taking and of any changes in your health history.
  • Poor nutrition — a diet low in important nutrients can also make it harder for your body to fight off infection.

Can I develop periodontal disease without experiencing pain?

Yes. In fact, many cases of periodontal disease reach an advanced stage of development without the patient experiencing any discomfort. This is one of the reasons why visiting your dentist regularly is so important — routine preventive care allows them to monitor your oral health and recommend appropriate treatments to halt the progression of the disease.

How can I prevent periodontal disease?

The best way to prevent gum disease is to practice good oral hygiene at home. This includes brushing at least twice a day and flossing daily, as well as maintaining a balanced diet. Ideally, you should brush after each meal and before going to bed at night. You should also be sure to visit your dentist at least twice each year for routine preventive care.

What types of treatment are available?

There are a number of treatments available for periodontal disease, and our periodontist will work closely with you to create a treatment plan tailored to your unique needs. Common treatment options include:

  • Nonsurgical treatments, such as scaling and root planing and disinfectants
  • Periodontal surgery, including soft tissue grafting, osseous surgery and pocket reduction therapy
  • Laser gum treatments
  • Improved at-home care

What is the connection between periodontal disease and overall health?

Your oral and overall health are closely connected. Periodontal disease in particular can have a great impact on your general health and wellbeing, as it increases your risk of developing or exacerbating systemic conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, stroke, respiratory disease and osteoporosis. If you have a preexisting condition, it is also mor likely that you will develop gum disease. Pregnancy also increases the risk of developing gum disease in women, and expecting mothers should make sure to visit their dentist regularly throughout their pregnancy, as gum disease can lead to premature birth and low birth weight babies.

What is gum recession?

Gum recession is a condition where the edge of your gum tissue recedes or draws back from the root of the tooth, exposing more of your tooth structure. Gum recession is typically caused by periodontal disease or overaggressive brushing, and eventually leads to the loss of your supporting bone and gum tissues. Gum grafting is one of the treatments which may be recommended to halt gum recession and help you regain healthy gum tissue.

What are periodontal pockets?

Periodontal pockets are spaces between the gums and teeth. In a completely healthy mouth, bone and gum tissue will fit snuggly around the teeth. However, gum disease destroys this supporting bone and tissue, leading to the formation of pockets where bacteria can accumulate and cause further damage.

Why do I need to keep coming back after my treatment is done?

Even after completing your treatment plan, you will need to return to our office to receive periodontal maintenance regularly. These “maintenance” treatments help prevent the disease from returning to your mouth, and are vital to your continued oral health and overall wellbeing. Our periodontist will recommend a schedule of visits for you following the completion of your treatment.

How much will my periodontal treatment cost?

The cost of your treatment will depend on the type of treatment you receive. Your initial exams and X-rays are complimentary, and after that initial evaluation our periodontist will understand your needs and will work with you to create your treatment plan. Dr. Strutz will contact your insurance company on your behalf so that you will know exactly what your insurance will cover and what you will be charged after your insurance benefits have been applied.

Contact us today to learn more about periodontal care and schedule your personal consultation with Dr. Strutz!

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