Periodontal Care in Saint Paul, MN
You might be surprised to learn that gum disease – or periodontal disease – is a big problem in the United States. In fact, estimates by the American Academy of Periodontology point toward as many as 50 percent of all US adults suffering from some form of the disease.
Many people don’t even realize they have gum disease. And even those patients who know they have the disease are often not receiving treatment for it. Seeking treatment for gum disease is important. Recent studies have demonstrated that the health of your gums can have an impact on your overall wellness. Besides tooth loss, gum disease is associated with an increased risk for systemic diseases such as diabetes, cancer, and heart disease.
The good news is that periodontal disease can be treated, particularly when caught in the early stages. Regardless of how your gum disease has progressed, your dentists in St. Paul, MN, Dr. Nick Schulte, along with his hygienists, can treat your periodontal disease and help you keep your gums healthy with regular care.
If you would like to schedule an exam or have questions about gum disease or prevention, contact our dental office today. And please continue reading to learn more about our approach to care.
- Healthy Gums for a Healthy Smile
- Causes of Gum Disease
- Treating Gum Disease in St. Paul, MN
- Keeping Your Gums Strong and Healthy
- Preventive Dentistry and At-Home Oral Care
- Does Insurance Cover Gum Disease Treatment?
Healthy Gums for a Healthy Smile
Healthy gums do not just mean an attractive smile. Your gums also work to protect your teeth from bacteria, keeping disease and decay at bay. Gums are susceptible to infection, however, which is why gum disease is a common occurrence.
Gum disease is sometimes asymptomatic, but some people suffer from the following symptoms:
- Gums that bleed when you brush your teeth
- Bad breath that won’t go away, regardless of your brushing habits
- Gums that are frequently swollen, tender, and red
- Teeth that are loose and separating from gum tissue
- The formation of pus between gums and teeth
- The appearance of longer teeth because gums have pulled away from the teeth
- Periodic toothaches and sensitivity
Because the disease may be asymptomatic, it is important to schedule regular checkups with your dentist. If you have regular checkups and teeth cleanings, it lowers your risks.
If you have not been to the dentist in a while, you should consider scheduling an appointment. If your dentist can catch gum disease early—the gingivitis stage—it is reversible.
Causes of Gum Disease
Although many people might assume that poor oral hygiene is the main cause of periodontal disease, there are many different reasons why people might be susceptible. The primary cause is bacteria—or plaque—and the way the body responds to it. This can be influenced by many issues, including genetics, smoking, the immune system, lack of brushing and flossing, and infrequency of dental checkups.
While the causes may be many, it’s important to consider that gum disease is a preventable condition. Talk to your dentist if you think you’re at risk.
Treating Gum Disease in St. Paul, MN
Scaling and root planing is a gum disease treatment that removes plaque and bacteria from below the gumline. In our St. Paul dental office, we start with less invasive methods in most cases, including hand tools, ultrasonic scalers, and lasers in lieu of surgery. The roots of the teeth are also smoothed to encourage the gums to reattach to the teeth.
Laser therapy sterilizes pockets, so they heal faster and reattach to the teeth. After the procedure, periodontal pockets become smaller, and gum health improves. Laser dentistry in St. Paul promotes faster healing times and a gentler approach to treatment, including less bleeding.
For cases where periodontal disease has progressed, osseous surgery might be necessary. This procedure smooths the surface of the roots to get rid of rough spots where bacteria collect. Additionally, the periodontal pockets are trimmed and repositioned. After the procedure, patients enjoy dramatically improved gum health.
Keeping Your Gums Strong and Healthy
Gum disease treatment in 55116 is necessary to keep harmful bacteria in the mouth under control. Tarter and plaque must be removed from the teeth regularly. Patients who have undergone gum surgery should plan on visiting our office every three or four months for periodontal maintenance.
Your St. Paul dentist will always assess your current gum disease level during these appointments and alter your treatment plan based on findings. He will also talk to you about your oral health and make recommendations for at-home care, such as an altered brushing and flossing schedule.
And during treatment, you can count on our compassionate team to keep you relaxed and comfortable.
Preventive Dentistry and At-Home Oral Care
At Brimhall Dentistry, we want to help you prevent oral health problems like cavities and gum disease, which is why we recommend regular appointments for teeth cleanings and exams with our dentist.
You should also be brushing your teeth at least twice daily and flossing. If you’re at risk for periodontal disease, or if you’ve been diagnosed with gingivitis, your dentist may recommend additional brushing and flossing sessions as well.
Brushing and flossing should be diligent, and it’s important to pay attention to detail—brushing all surfaces and flossing against the curves of teeth with fresh floss—never tug. We also suggest brushing your teeth before bed, especially if you’ve had anything to eat or drink since your last at-home session.
You should also talk to your St. Paul dentist if you grind and clench your teeth.
Does Insurance Cover Gum Disease Treatment?
It depends. Every insurance plan is a little bit different. Sometimes one plan will cover a procedure or treatment, and another plan won’t. In most cases, gum disease treatment is a covered benefit.
Some general guidelines:
- Just about every plan covers preventive care. Some even cover it 100 percent. However, it’s important to note that some insurance plans limit how many cleanings per year they will pay for. If you have a condition like periodontal disease, Dr. Schulte may recommend more cleanings than your insurance will cover.
- Insurance plans may pay for a portion of advanced treatments, including laser dentistry, but you may still have a copay or deductible to content with.
- As we plan your periodontal care, we will review your insurance benefits and let you know how much of a treatment your plan will cover and which portion you will be responsible for. We will always help you maximize your benefits so you can make the most of your coverage. Please contact our dentist's office near Highland Park for more information.
Call Our St. Paul Dental Office to Schedule Your Next Visit
Patients have been visiting Dr. Schulte's office since 1958, where it was originally known as Fischbach Dentistry to keep their smiles healthy, beautiful, and functional. With our emphasis on preventive care, we aim to ensure our patients keep their natural teeth for their entire lives with affordable care you can count on. Schedule a consultation with Dr. Schulte today to ensure the health of your teeth and gums.
We warmly welcome patients from all locations, including the neighborhoods of Highland Park, Macalester-Groveland, and beyond.