Westfield's Dental Department

Posts for tag: periodontal disease

By Kenneth Krause, DMD
February 18, 2020
Category: Periodontal Health

Preventing Periodontal Disease

It's a given that proper brushing, flossing and diligent oral hygiene is imperative to the health of your teeth and gums. But did you that oral wellness is linked to total body wellness?

Inadequate oral hygiene can affect your overall health, with periodontal disease, also known as gum disease, increasing your risk of diabetes and heart disease as well as potentially leading to tooth loss and receding gums.

Dr. Kenneth Krause of Krause Dental in Westfield can provide tips for preventing the development of periodontal disease, and our family dentistry office is ready to put you on the path to lifelong oral health.

What is periodontal disease?

Periodontal disease is an oral condition which develops when the bacteria in plaque begins to build up in your gums and between your teeth, causing inflammation to your gums. Left untreated, periodontal disease can cause the bones in your jawbone to begin deteriorating.

What can I do to prevent periodontal disease?

Our family dentistry office in Westfield advises both at home and in-office prevention practices to keep your teeth healthy and strong.

At home care:

  • Brush thoroughly, at least twice a day.
  • Floss every night to make sure any food particles trapped between your teeth or along your gum line are removed.
  • Rinse with water or mouthwash after brushing and flossing to rinse away any stray particles.
  • Make sure to eat a balanced diet, low in sugary foods and beverages.
  • Abstain from smoking and tobacco use

At our family dentistry office in Westfield:

  • Schedule regular exams and cleanings at our Westfield family dentistry practice. We can provide you with a deep cleaning and use our special tools to scrape away any tough plaque or tartar.
  • Let our professionals know if you have any history of periodontal disease so we can provide you with any additional help you may need.
  • If you are already experiencing signs of periodontal disease, we can provide periodontal therapy.

Call Krause Dental in Westfield, IN today at 317-399-9329 for all your dental health needs.


Periodontal (gum) disease is a serious infection that can damage more than periodontal tissues — supporting bone structure is also at risk. Any bone loss could eventually lead to tooth loss.

To stop it from causing this kind of damage, we must match this disease's aggressiveness with equally aggressive treatment. The various treatment techniques all have the same goal: to remove bacterial plaque, the source of the infection, from all oral surfaces, including below the gum line. Buildup of plaque, a thin film of food particles, after only a few days without adequate brushing and flossing is enough time to trigger gum disease.

The basic removal technique is called scaling, using hand instruments called scalers to manually remove plaque and calculus (hardened plaque deposits) above or just below the gum line. If the disease or infection has advanced to the roots, we may use another technique called root planing in which we shave or “plane” plaque and tartar from the root surfaces.

Advancing gum disease also causes a number of complex problems like abscesses (localized infections in certain areas of gum tissue) or periodontal pockets. In the latter circumstance the slight normal gap between tooth and gums becomes deeper as the tissues weaken and pull away. This forms a void or pocket that fills with inflammation or infection that must be removed. Plaque buildup can also occur around furcations, the places where a tooth's roots divide off from one another.

It may be necessary in these more complex situations to perform a procedure known as flap surgery to gain access to these infected areas. As the name implies, we create an opening in the gums with a hinge, much like the flap of a paper envelope. Once the accessed area has been cleansed of plaque and infected tissues (and often treated with antibiotics to stop further infection), the flapped tissue is closed back in place and sutured.

To avoid these advanced stages it's important for you to see us at the first sign of problems: swollen, red or bleeding gums. Even more important is to reduce your risk for gum disease in the first place with dedicated daily brushing and flossing to remove plaque and regular dental visits for more thorough cleaning.

Gum disease can be devastating to your long-term dental health. But with diligent hygiene and early aggressive treatment you can stop this destructive disease in its tracks.

If you would like more information on treating gum disease, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Treating Difficult Areas of Periodontal Disease.”


After several treatment sessions your periodontal (gum) disease is under control. But, while we may have won this battle, the war rages on. To keep an infection from re-occurring we'll have to remain on guard.

Gum disease begins and thrives on a thin film of bacteria and food particles on tooth surfaces called plaque. The infection usually begins as gingivitis, which causes the gums to become red and swollen (inflamed). Untreated it can develop into periodontitis, a more advanced form that progresses deeper into the gum tissues resulting in bone loss.

To treat the disease, we must remove all the plaque and calculus (hardened plaque deposits) we can find no matter how deeply they've penetrated below the gum line. Since the deeper it extends the more likely surgical techniques may be necessary to consider, it's better to catch the disease in its earliest stages when plaque can be removed with hand instruments or ultrasonic equipment.

The appropriate treatment technique can effectively stop and even reverse gum disease's effects — but it won't change your susceptibility. Constant vigilance is the best way to significantly reduce your risk of another episode. In this case, our prevention goal is the same as in treatment: remove plaque.

It begins with you learning and applying effective brushing and flossing techniques, and being consistent with these habits every day. As your dentist, we play a role too: we may need to see you as often as every few weeks or quarter to perform meticulous cleaning above and below the gum line. We may also perform procedures on your gums to make it easier to maintain them and your teeth, including correcting root surface irregularities that can accumulate plaque.

Our aim is to reduce the chances of another infection as much as possible. "Fighting the good fight" calls for attention, diligence and effort — but the reward is continuing good health for your teeth and gums.

If you would like more information on continuing dental care after gum disease, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Periodontal Cleanings.”