Periodontal Home Remedies | San Antonio Periodontist

skd284147sdcPeriodontal disease is one of the most common problems Americans face – as many as half of American adults have some level of periodontal disease, and that percentage increases at higher ages. Periodontal disease can take many forms – from mild gingivitis, with symptoms like red inflamed gums, to severe periodontal disease – where pus from infections can push teeth from their socket.

Fortunately, there are a number of things you can do at home to help prevent – and even treat – periodontal disease. First and foremost – you should brush at least twice a day (ideally after each meal), and floss at least once a day. Periodontal disease typically starts with plaque and tartar on the teeth – brushing and flossing helps remove that plaque before it can harden into tartar.

In addition to brushing and flossing, have regular professional dental cleanings. Most dentists recommend professional cleanings every 6 months, but talk to your dentist about their preferred schedule. Professional cleanings can not only clean plaque better than brushing or flossing, but will remove the hardened, calcified tartar that simple brushing will not be able to remove. Removing the tartar is crucial to separating the bacteria from the surface of the teeth and gums – by physically removing the protective barrier, future brushing will be more likely to prevent periodontal disease from gaining a foothold beneath your gums.

In addition to flossing and professional cleaning, help combat plaque and tartar with supplemental cleaning. For example, use a mouthwash that’s designed to combat plaque, and use dental picks or dental sticks to help remove food material and debris between your teeth. Consider using an electric toothbrush – the vibration of electric toothbrushes may be more effective at displacing plaque and tartar than a manual toothbrush.

Finally, controlling bacteria in the mouth can be done with a few home remedies. Saltwater rinses (2 teaspoons of salt in a glass of warm water, swirled in your mouth for up to 60 seconds) and hydrogen peroxide (food grade, equal parts 3 percent hydrogen peroxide and water, swirled in your mouth for a few seconds and then spit out) can help combat bacteria in your mouth, and sugar free gum with Xylitol has antibacterial properties as well as encourages the production of saliva to help wash food particles from your mouth.

While there’s no substitute for professional dental visits, taking good care of your mouth at home will help keep periodontal disease at bay. If you see red, inflamed, or bleeding gums, skip the home treatment and visit a professional – it’s best to treat periodontal disease before it becomes a serious problem.

If you have any questions or want to schedule a visit for more information on gum health, call  at Andrew Weber DDS at 210-496-5603 or visit our website at or

Periodontal Abscess | San Antonio Periodontist

periodontal gum recessionHuman mouths are full of bacteria. Those bacterial colonies cause a number of problems, from tooth decay to periodontal disease, and often is a painless, nearly symptom-free state until it advances to a point where potentially permanent damage has been done. One exception to the symptom-free rule is the periodontal abscess.

Periodontal abscesses are collections of pus within the gums resulting from a bacterial infection, typically periodontal disease. These infections are unpleasant – the pus creates pressure, which causes tenderness. Often originating near or beneath a tooth, a periodontal abscess can cause sharp pain upon biting, and the inflammation can make a tooth feel raised or out of place. At some point, the pressure of the pus within the tissue may become too much, and the tissue may tear, releasing the pus into the mouth, causing a bad taste. These symptoms are indication of a problem – fortunately, the problem can often be treated before it causes irreparable damage.

Treating a periodontal abscess is straightforward. The initial treatment will involve treating the infection and discomfort caused by the pus, and determining if the nearby tooth can be salvaged or if it needs to be removed. A patient’s first abscess, treated immediately upon discovery, is likely to save the tooth, presuming the tooth is otherwise healthy. If the tooth is unhealthy, the tooth may be removed, allowing the pus to drain. If the tooth is not being removed, the pus may be drained via manual expression through an existing opening, or surgically with an incision. Once the pus is removed, the infection itself is treated, often with antibiotics such as amoxicillin. The underlying cause of the infection is often treated at a later date – through periodontal techniques such as periodontal scaling – to remove the plaque and tartar that contributes to the bacterial infection.

While periodontal abscesses are certainly not fun, they’re easily treated, and may help patients realize they have serious problems before teeth are irreparably damaged. If you’re feeling sharp pain in your gums, if you’ve seen or felt a bubble of pus beneath the skin, or if you’ve tasted the bitter discharge as a pus pocket burst, don’t procrastinate – talk to a dentist or periodontist quickly, so the infection can be treated and your teeth can be saved.

If you have any questions or want to schedule a visit for more information on gum health, call  at Andrew Weber DDS at 210-496-5603 or visit our website at or

Periodontal Scaling | San Antonio Periodontist

ThinkstockPhotos-464323669Periodontal disease is a common problem for many Americans. Characterized by bacterial infections below the gum-line, periodontal disease starts as a minor irritation and inflammation, but can grow to be severe, causing bone loss and eventual tooth loss. Mild and moderate forms of periodontal disease are often known as gingivitis, and gingivitis is typically treated by your dentist or periodontist with a combination of proper oral hygiene and a technique known as periodontal scaling.

Periodontal scaling is a common and conservative treatment for mild forms of periodontal disease. Plaque – a sticky, bacteria filled substance – typically sticks to teeth, and when it hardens, becomes tartar. While proper brushing and flossing would help minimize the buildup of plaque and tartar, once it becomes established below the gum-line, the calcified tartar will be difficult for a patient to remove alone.

In periodontal scaling procedures, the periodontist will use tools to work below the gum-line, feeling for plaque and tartar on the teeth below the visible surface. Using a combination of tools, the periodontist will physically remove the calcified tartar from teeth – depending on the amount of tartar, the periodontist may use ultrasonic / vibrating tools, or dull metal instruments that will physically separate the tartar from the teeth. At the same time, they’ll use irrigation to wash the plaque and tartar from below the gums, physically removing the bacteria from the area.

At the end of the procedure, the patient will be left with less bacteria beneath the gums, and a smoother tooth surface that’s better able to resist bacteria/plaque buildup in the future. As the gums recover, they will be less tender, less inflamed, and less likely to harbor bacteria in the future.

Periodontal scaling isn’t necessarily pleasant – it’s a deep cleaning for serious problems, but it’s far less invasive than more serious procedures for advanced periodontal disease. If your dentist or periodontist recommends scaling, it’s likely the case that you have mild to moderate periodontal disease, and they’re recommending a conservative treatment before the condition worsens and risks tooth loss.

If you believe you may be suffering from periodontal disease, if you have sore, red, irritated, or bleeding gums, talk to your dentist about the cause. While routine cleanings can often help remove plaque and tartar, if your dentist sees signs of periodontal disease, they may a treatment such as periodontal scaling to help minimize the risk of tooth loss in the future.

If you have any questions or want to schedule a visit for more information on gum health, call  at Andrew Weber DDS at 210-496-5603 or visit our website at or

Periodontal Disease | San Antonio Periodontist

494183909Periodontal disease refers to infections of the tissues around the teeth. There are three basic structures involved – gum tissue, the periodontal ligament, and the alveolar bone. Brushing and flossing protects these three structures, but what purpose do these individual structures serve?

The first structure is gum tissue – often known as gingiva – which is the pinkish soft tissue lining the mouth adjacent to teeth. The gum tissue surround teeth, sealing out air and bacteria that could damage tooth roots, and provides support to the tooth. Early stage periodontal disease (gingivitis) typically impacts the gums, causing swelling, irritation, and bleeding.

The second structure is the periodontal ligament. The periodontal ligament is a group of connective tissues that sit between the tooth and bone, providing support during chewing, and strength to help resist tooth loss. As bacterial infections advance from gingivitis to full periodontal disease, the periodontal ligament can become infected, causing teeth to become loose, and allowing the infection to spread beneath the exposed surface and down into the underlying bone.

The final structure is the alveolar bone. The alveolar bone (or alveolar process) is a ride of bone that contains the individual tooth sockets. Attached to the mandible (lower jaw) and maxillae (upper jaw/palate), the alveolar bone is the piece of bone directly beneath the teeth, separating the teeth from the underlying jaw-bone. One of the primary risks of periodontal disease is damage to this structure: advanced periodontal disease will cause bone loss, weakening the tooth sockets, and causing permanent tooth loss.

Periodontal disease is a serious concern for many patients. Proper brushing, flossing, and regular professional cleaning are key to preventing periodontal disease. Once bacterial colonies are present in the gums, having professional periodontal treatments (such as scaling or root planning) are critical to maintaining oral health and minimizing the risk of tooth loss.

If you have any questions or want to schedule a visit for more information on gum health, call  at Andrew Weber DDS at 210-496-5603 or visit our website at or


Maintaining Gum Health | San Antonio Periodontist

multiple smilesMost dentists remind patients that there are three keys to maintaining oral health: brushing, flossing, and professional teeth cleaning. It’s important to note that just brushing isn’t enough – flossing and professional cleaning are keys to removing food particles, plaque and tartar from between teeth and along the gum-line. While brushing can often minimize decay on the upper surfaces of teeth, flossing and professional cleaning is great at keeping teeth healthy below the gums – preventing various types of gum disease.

Gum disease (often known as periodontal disease) can take a number of forms. The most minor form – gingivitis – is usually seen as red, swollen, bleeding gums. Gingivitis often has very little pain, and is typically caused by inadequate flossing. In this earliest stage, periodontal disease is often completely reversible with professional cleaning and good home care – the bacterial colonies may cause inflammation, but likely have not damaged the underlying teeth or bone.

As periodontal disease advances, gingivitis gives way to periodontitis – the plaque spreads and grows below the gums, and the toxins produced by the bacteria create chronic inflammation. The gum tissues will begin to separate from teeth, forming pockets of empty space that can then collect additional bacteria. As the periodontal disease advances, more and more gum tissue will become impacted, and bone will eventually be destroyed.

The symptoms of advancing periodontal disease increase as the disease worsens – the mild inflammation and swelling is joined by bad breath as the bacteria breaks down tissue. Pain may become a factor as plaque and tartar create infections below the gums, but often patients will only notice bleeding during brushing and flossing even as the bone loss allows teeth to loosen.

While periodontal disease can cause bone and tooth loss, it’s also very treatable when caught early. Periodontists have a number of procedures at their disposal, from ranging from antibiotics and physical scaling to surgical procedures, but first the patient must make an appointment and be diagnosed. If you’re seeing the symptoms of gingivitis or periodontal disease, be sure to make an appointment with your dentist or periodontist as soon as possible.

If you have any questions or want to schedule a visit for more information on gum health, call  at Andrew Weber DDS at 210-496-5603 or visit our website at or

Gum Tissue | San Antonio Periodontist

459953231Gum tissue serves two main purposes: it provides a seal around teeth, keeping bacteria away from the tooth root, and it provides physical support for the tooth, helping keep the tooth firmly in its socket. One of the most significant risks of periodontal disease is loss of gum tissue – as bacteria from plaque and tartar spreads beneath the gums, it damages bone and gum tissue, leading to a number of problems. While loss of bone tissue increases the risk of tooth loss due to structural weakness, loss of gum tissue can be just as serious.

Dentists and periodontists will advise patients to have professional cleanings to help minimize the likelihood of developing periodontal disease. If they determine that periodontal disease is becoming a problem, they’ll likely advise corrective action such as scaling and root planning, where plaque and tartar is physically removed from the roots of the teeth beneath the gum-line, removing the damaging bacteria and giving the gums an opportunity to heal. In some cases, however, the gum tissue will recede, exposing the roots of the teeth. In these cases, periodontists will recommend a procedure to replace gum tissue over the tooth root (such as gum grafting) to help restore the barrier around the tooth root – keeping air, sugars, and acids away from the weather root surface, protecting the tooth’s long term health.

While many patients are aware of the dangers of tooth decay, it’s important to realize that overall oral health is about more than just healthy teeth – it means health gums, too. Brushing, flossing, and professional cleaning helps keep plaque and bactiera away from the gums, keeping periodontal disease at bay. If you’re experiencing bleeding, sore, inflamed gums, be sure to speak to a dentist or periodontist soon, so that you can minimize the risk of damage to gum tissue.

If you have any questions or want to schedule a visit for more information on gum health, call  at Andrew Weber DDS at 210-496-5603 or visit our website at or

Preventing Periodontal Disease | San Antonio Periodontist

periodontal gum recessionPeriodontal disease is a serious condition, but it can be avoided!  Periodontal Disease can cause a significant amount of unwanted damage to your oral health and hygiene. These dental damages include swelling, bleeding gums, persistent bad breath, and permanent tooth loss. Avoiding getting to this point in your oral health is easy! With daily and regular oral hygiene is where your preventative care starts.

Avoid having to deal with these long-term damages and prevent periodontal disease with these simple steps:

  • Brush after Meals- Brushing after meals is highly effective when preventing periodontal disease because brushing allows you to remove food particles and plaque that accumulate in the mouth.
  • Flossing- Flossing is also extremely important when preventing periodontal disease because it removes any plaque buildup that cannot be removed from brushing alone.
  • Appointments- Only a professional can thorough examine your teeth to determine how well your oral health is. For this reason, schedule regular appointment to ensure you are steering clear of periodontal disease.

See your dentist or dental hygienist regularly for cleanings, usually every six to 12 months. If you have risk factors that increase your chance of developing periodontitis — such as having dry mouth, taking certain blood pressure medications or smoking — you may need professional cleaning more often.

If you have any questions or want to schedule a visit for more information on gum health, call  at Andrew Weber DDS at 210-496-5603 or visit our website at or

Periodontal Treatments | San Antonio Periodontist

ThinkstockPhotos-185147513Gingivitis and periodontal disease are conditions that describe bacterial infections within the gum tissue. Gingivitis typically describes inflamed, sore gums that are in early stages of infection, where periodontal disease is typically reserved for advanced stages of the condition, where the bacteria has begun impacting the underlying bone tissue. The typical causes of both gingivitis and periodontal disease are poor oral hygiene (notably a lack of brushing and flossing), but the treatments vary significantly.

The cause of gingivitis is typically plaque, an invisible sticky film composed of bacteria that builds on the surface of teeth over time. Brushing and flossing removes plaque, but failure to brush and floss allows the plaque to harden into tartar, which is calcified and nearly impossible to remove with simple brushing.

Treatments for gingivitis tend to be less invasive than those for periodontal disease, because – by definition – gingivitis is a more mild case of the disease. A dentist’s primary treatment for gingivitis is going to be an in-office dental cleaning, where tartar can be removed, plaque will be cleaned, and the dentist may use physical instruments to remove buildup below the gum line.

Left untreated, gingivitis will eventually lead to periodontal disease, where the bacterial colonies work their way into the deeper gum pockets and, eventually, the bone beneath the teeth. Treatment for periodontal disease will be far more involved. As with gingivitis, the primary goal is to treat the infection, so a cleaning will be an initial step, followed by deep cleaning below the gum line, using techniques like scaling and root planing, where the gum tissue is peeled back and the cleaning is performed below the normal gum line. Depending on the nature of the infection, a periodontist may also recommend flap surgery (where gums are lifted back surgically and the tartar removed), or bone and tissue grafts to encourage regeneration. For bone loss, bone grafts can be placed where bone loss has occurred. For tissue loss, both tissue grafts (using tissue from elsewhere, such as the roof of the mouth) and using regenerative aids (such as synthetic meshes to encourage tissue growth) are used to aid the mouth in healing and rebuilding healthy gums.

While there are a number of treatment options for both gingivitis and periodontal disease, the easiest way to deal with periodontal disease is to avoid allowing plaque and tartar buildup to advance to the point of gingivitis in the first place. Regular professional cleanings and thorough home hygiene are necessary. If you have concerns about the health of your gums, or to schedule a cleaning to keep your gums healthy, contact your dentist today.

If you have any questions or want to schedule a visit for more information on gum health, call  at Andrew Weber DDS at 210-496-5603 or visit our website at or

Periodontal Abscess | San Antonio Periodontist

ThinkstockPhotos-185147513Dentists often remind patients to brush and floss regularly. While brushing will often keep the biting surface of teeth clean, flossing is needed to clean the area between teeth and along the gum line. One of the advantages of flossing is that it helps prevent buildup of food particles from causing bacterial colonies within the gums. In its minor form, known as gingivitis, the gums become inflamed and sore. As the bacterial colonies grow, the advanced condition is known as periodontal disease. While periodontal disease can have many negative consequences, one of the more painful symptoms is a periodontal abscess.

Periodontal abscesses are a collection of pus within the tissue of the gum. Periodontal abscesses occur in the periodontium – the tissue that surrounds the bone within the gum and holds the tooth in place. Unlike other forms of dental abscesses, periodontal abscesses are not result of spreading infection from the tooth, but rather represent infection of the gum tissue itself.

The main symptom of a periodontal abscess is pain – often appearing suddenly, and made worse when biting. Because the periodontium is impacted, the tooth may be loosened. The area will likely be red, swollen, and painful to the touch. As the pus increases within the tissue, the pain will increase until the tissue bursts, causing a spontaneous draining of the pus and nearly instant pain relief.

If a patient is experiencing a periodontal abscess, prompt treatment may allow the tooth to be saved. Treating the infected tissue before permanent damage is caused is vital – the pus will be drained, the area will be cleaned, and antibiotics will likely be administered. When treated early, the affected tooth can be saved – though the patient will likely need to treat the underlying periodontal disease to prevent reoccurrence.

If you believe you may have a periodontal abscess, or periodontal disease in general, please contact our office for a consultation; rapid treatment is critical to maintaining your health, so don’t delay.

If you have any questions or want to schedule a visit for more information on gum health, call  at Andrew Weber DDS at 210-496-5603 or visit our website at or

Periodontal Scaling | San Antonio Periodontist

ThinkstockPhotos-464323669Periodontal disease is a scary term. Many people are told each year that they suffer from periodontal disease, but few fully understand what it means or what lies ahead. The root cause of periodontal disease is an infection in the bone below the teeth and gums, which is typically the result of a failure to brush and floss properly. The plaque and tartar that build up on teeth over time contribute significantly to periodontal disease: brushing, flossing, and regularly professional dental cleaning are very likely to prevent you from ever hearing the diagnosis of periodontal disease.

However, for some people, the advise to brush and floss regularly may be too late – if you’ve already been told you suffer from periodontal disease, you may be wondering “what’s next?”

The main contributor to periodontal disease is infection, and the main cause of that infection is the build up of plaque and tartar – that means the first step in treating periodontal disease is getting the plaque and tartar under control with a thorough cleaning. The removal of plaque and tartar with a thorough cleaning helps remove the source of bacteria, but the dentist or periodontist will likely also recommend periodontal scaling.

Periodontal scaling uses tools to scrape and clean the tooth below the gum line. Three types of tools are common – the oldest and simplest is a traditional metal scaler, which uses physical strength and leverage to dislodge plaque and calculus. Electric scalers are similar to physical scalers, but typically vibrate at a very high frequency, which not only helps remove plaque and calculus, but also creates tiny air bubbles that help fight bacteria. Finally, dental lasers can be used to remove plaque, with a side effect that the heat of the laser can help promote tissue healing.

Once the plaque, tartar, and calculus is removed, your dentist or periodontist will likely prescribe antibiotics to help fight the bacterial infection, and send you home to heal in peace and quiet. If you’re able to maintain proper oral hygiene going forward – with regular brushing, flossing, and professional cleaning – it’s likely that you will not need more invasive treatment to address the bone loss of periodontal disease. If you have questions about the process or prognosis, or if you believe you need periodontal treatment, please contact your dentist for an appointment.

If you have any questions or want to schedule a visit for more information on gum health, call  at Andrew Weber DDS at 210-496-5603 or visit our website at or