Dental Care

Rooting Out Gum Disease: Causes and Prevention

Mar 25 • 3 minute read

Don't Let Gum Disease Steal Your Smile


According to the CDC, Nearly half (46%) of all adults aged 30 years or older show signs of gum disease. At Northwest Dental, we believe healthy gums are the foundation for a beautiful smile. That's why we're here to shed light on periodontal disease, also known as gum disease, a common concern for many patients. Gum (periodontal) disease is an inflammatory disease affecting the hard and soft structures supporting teeth. 

What Are Periodontal Disease Causes?

The primary culprit behind gum disease is the buildup of plaque, a sticky film teeming with bacteria. When plaque hardens into tartar (calculus), it becomes difficult to remove with brushing and flossing alone. This creates a breeding ground for bacteria that irritate and inflame the gums, leading to periodontal disease.

Several factors can contribute to plaque buildup and increase your risk of gum disease:

  • Poor oral hygiene: Brushing twice daily and flossing once daily are essential for removing plaque

  • Smoking and tobacco use: Smoking weakens the immune system's ability to fight infection

  • Certain medications: Some can cause dry mouth, reducing your saliva's natural cleansing effect

  • Autoimmune diseases, including lupus, scleroderma, and Crohn’s disease

  • Uncontrolled diabetes can affect the body's ability to fight infection, increasing the risk of gum disease

  • Stress 

  • Family history: You may be more susceptible if gum disease runs in your family

What Are Periodontal Disease Symptoms?

Here are some telltale signs of gum disease to watch out for:

  • Red, swollen, or tender gums

  • Bleeding gums, especially during brushing or flossing

  • Receding gums, making teeth appear longer

  • Loose or separated teeth

  • Persistent bad breath (halitosis)

  • Pus between the teeth and gums

  • Changes in your bite

If you experience any of these symptoms, schedule an appointment with Dr. Ben Wachholtz at Northwest Dental for a comprehensive evaluation. Early diagnosis and treatment are crucial to prevent tooth loss and maintain a healthy smile.


Can Periodontal Disease Be Cured?

One of the most common queries patients have about gum disease is whether it can be cured. Unfortunately, there isn't a complete cure for periodontal disease, especially in advanced stages. You can’t cure it because once you lose structural support around your teeth, you don’t usually get all of it back. However, the good news is that it can be effectively controlled and managed through professional treatment and a dedicated at-home care routine. Early intervention is key! Through professional treatments, diligent oral hygiene practices, and regular dental check-ups, addressing gum disease in its early stages (gingivitis) can prevent it from progressing to more severe forms and can significantly improve gum health to prevent further damage.


What Are The Different Stages of Periodontal Disease?

Periodontal disease progresses through stages, each with varying levels of severity:

  1. Gingivitis is the earliest stage, characterized by inflamed, red, and bleeding gums. It is reversible with good oral hygiene and professional cleaning.

  2. Early Periodontitis: When the infection spreads more profoundly, it affects the bones supporting the teeth. Pockets form between the gums and teeth, trapping plaque and causing further damage.

  3. Moderate Periodontitis: As gum disease advances, it causes increased gum recession, noticeable tooth mobility, and moderate bone loss.

  4. Advanced Periodontitis: Significant bone loss occurs in the most severe stage, leading to loose teeth and potential tooth loss.


Taking Charge of Your Oral Health in Omaha

While periodontal disease may not be fully cured in advanced stages, proactive management, early detection, and professional dental care can effectively control its progression and preserve oral health. Stay informed, prioritize oral hygiene, and schedule regular dental visits to keep your gums healthy and your smile radiant.

Northwest Dental offers comprehensive periodontal care, from preventive cleanings and scaling & root planing (deep cleaning) to advanced treatments for severe gum disease. We're committed to partnering with you to achieve and maintain optimal oral health.

For personalized guidance and professional dental care in Omaha, contact Northwest Dental today!

Recent Articles

Now Offering Same-Day Crowns

One Appointment, One Smile: Same-Day CrownsHave a chipped tooth? Don't wait weeks for a perfect smil ...

#patient resources#oral health#restorative dentistry#dental emergency#dental anxiety#dental treatment
Rooting Out Gum Disease: Causes and Prevention

Don't Let Gum Disease Steal Your SmileAccording to the CDC, Nearly half (46%) of all adults aged 30 ...

#patient resources#oral health#preventative care