Our Fort Collins dentists are trained to find periodontal disease, which is a condition that can often be silent and not appear until the advanced stages of the disease. There are warning signs of this dental disease starting with persistent swelling, red or bleeding gums, tooth sensitivity, and bad breath. Millions of people do not know they have this serious infection and if not treated can lead to the loss of one or more teeth. Swollen and bleeding gums are the early signs that your gums are infected with bacteria. If no approach to treatment is taken the infection can spread, destroying structures that support your teeth in the jawbone. Your teeth eventually become so loose they may have to be extracted.

The root perio means ‘around’ and dontal refers to ‘teeth’, meaning periodontal disease is an infection involving structures around the teeth, rather than the teeth themselves. The earliest stages of periodontal disease are known as gingivitis. This affects the mainly the gums, but more severe forms of periodontal disease affect all tissues, including gums, periodontal ligaments, and bone. Research is still ongoing concerning how gum disease can affect your overall health. Studies have suggested possible connections to atherosclerosis and heart disease, stroke, premature births, diabetes and respiratory disease. The Fort Collins dentists at Shore’s stay up to date with new information regarding gum disease in order to provide our patients with the best care.

Periodontal disease is caused by bacteria found in dental plaque. By practicing good oral hygiene like daily brushing and flossing, and by visiting our Fort Collins dentists regularly, you can keep plaque under control. If you skip the dentist visit or are lax on oral hygiene, plaque builds on the teeth and eventually spreads below the gum line. If there is a buildup of plaque below the gum line the gums become inflamed and swell, which can cause the tooth to become detached. This forms a space or ‘pocket’ between the tooth and gum and bacteria can grow rapidly in the pockets encouraging further plaque buildup. If left untreated the disease can spread to periodontal ligaments and the jawbone. Periodontal disease can destroy them. Removing the plaque promptly is important because over time it hardens and calcifies turning into what is commonly known as tartar. When layers of tartar and plaque buildup it can be a downward spiral. While bacteria and plaque are the main cause of periodontal disease several other factors may contribute. This may include other diseases, your oral habits, or the medicine you currently take. Stress can also make periodontal disease worse and harder to treat.

If you have periodontal disease you will need to consult a local periodontist that specializes in the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of the disease. Periodontists in Fort Collins receive extra training in these areas plus have an additional three years of education beyond dental school. Consulting with one of our Fort Collins dentists at Shore’s will allow you to gain more information.

There are non-surgical and surgical procedures for periodontal treatment. Non-surgical scaling, period cleaning, and root planing may be an effective way to avoid the need for further perio treatment. But if this does not correct the problem then surgery will be required. With the advancements in technology, lasers have made this procedure much less invasive. Cutting the gums and stitching are gone. In addition, when laser therapy is used, there is less bleeding, swelling and discomfort for the patient. A dressing is applied after surgery and removed in two weeks. (Always check the progress of healing.) Then another dressing is applied for an additional two weeks. Your local dentists will discuss aftercare with you after your procedure.

Healthy gums are important for overall health. Don’t let periodontal disease go unchecked as it can lead to many other health issues. Taking care of your teeth is important and there is nothing better than your own set of teeth. Our Fort Collins dentists at Shore’s Family Dentistry will be more than happy to answer all of your questions about periodontics and offer perio treatment options. Get in touch with Shores Family Dentistry today for more information!

Gingivitis (bleeding gums)


Advanced Periodontitis

We use these products for this type of treatment:


We will be the first to say that dental hygiene is definitely not something you should take for granted. Your teeth will only stay healthy if you take good care of them. While you may mean well when it comes to taking care of your teeth, the truth is that care has a tendency to go by the wayside when life comes into play. Sure, you plan to brush your teeth before you go to bed, but because you are tired you decide to just wash your mouth out and call it a night. The fact is, the more that you ignore doing what you need to do to keep your teeth healthy, the bigger risk you run of serious issues coming up in the future like gum disease (gingivitis). This is something we take very seriously as dentists. Fort Collins residents can rest easy knowing we have their back – and their teeth!

First things first: Flossing really does make a difference. You know how our dentists and dental hygienists at Shores Family Dentistry talk about how you need to floss at least once a day? We’re not just saying it to make conversation. Flossing doesn’t just get rid of those bits of food that are stuck between your teeth, but it also helps keep your gums and teeth clean. It’s something that is vitally important to your dental hygiene so it is of the utmost importance to do it every day. (And trust us, we know when you’re not telling us the truth about how often you floss!)

The second thing that you need to make sure you do is take at least two minutes to brush your teeth twice a day. Simply sitting back and running the brush over your teeth a couple of times won’t do much. You need to actually carve two minutes out of your morning and evening schedule to methodically brush your teeth. Make sure that you cover your entire mouth and don’t just give up after 30 seconds. Many electric toothbrushes have a two-minute timer built in, or you can use the timer on your phone. All top-rated dentists agree on the two-minute subject.

Finally, you need to make sure that you use a high-quality mouthwash to finish up your brushing routine. Save money on dental care in the long run and make sure that you spend your money on something that will actually give your teeth and gums what they need. Do a bit of research and ask your dentist which would be best to use. A great mouthwash is something that you need in your dental hygiene routine. Putting a strong emphasis on these three categories is a good reason why many of our patients feel we are the best dentists in Fort Collins.

We use these products for this type of treatment:

Digital X-Rays

Digital dental X-rays at Shore’s Family Dentistry in Fort Collins, CO are highly beneficial and widely used for diagnosing dental problems. There are two main types of dental X-Rays: intraoral and extraoral. The former is used for taking images pertaining to the teeth and inside of the mouth, while the latter is used for taking outside mouth images pertaining to the development and structure.

Intraoral X-rays

An intraoral X-ray is more common and helps your dentist find cavities (cavities) by checking the overall health of the root, bones surrounding it, the status of developing teeth, general health of jawbone and teeth, etc. Our dentists can use different types of intraoral X-rays. These methods are used for diagnosing various ailments relating to teeth and jaws, including cavities, gum disease, decay, etc.

Extraoral X-rays

This method is used for taking images of the jaw and surrounding areas. It cannot be used for finding cavities or identifying other problems that are specific to the teeth. Instead, this is beneficial for monitoring the development and growth of the jaw and identifying potential problems between the jaw and the teeth. Our local dentists can use different types of extraoral X-rays for finding problems in the mouth. They are panoramic X-rays, tomograms, cephalometric projections, sialography, and computerized tomography.

Digital X-Rays

With the introduction of modern technologies and with the advancements of science, dental technology has improved greatly. These advanced technological developments in the dental industry are beneficial for patients that want painless, quick dental treatments. Digital X-rays are one of these modern techniques and they are safer and more convenient. Emission of radiation is very high in traditional dental X-rays and it increases the risks of exposure to radiation. It also takes more time for the development of X-ray film. Digital X-rays solve all the problems associated with traditional X-rays. Your dentists at Shore’s have put together a list of benefits.

Benefits of Digital X-rays

  • The physical process involved in digital dental X-rays are similar to that of traditional ones. In order to capture the images of your teeth, the dentist inserts a sensor in your mouth. This sensor is electronic and it is connected to a computer. After taking an X-ray, the dentist projects the image on a screen.
  • Less radiation is the major benefit of digital radiography. Compared to traditional dental X-rays, digital radiation procedures need around 90% less radiation. Therefore, this modern method is relatively safe and an excellent option for those who need to take X-rays frequently.
  • Taking less time is the other important benefit of digital radiography. Developing X-ray film is a time-intensive procedure and if you use digital technology, there is no waiting until the film is developed. The sensor used in digital X-rays is able to develop images almost instantly.
  • The image quality of digital radiography is also very high and the color, contrast, and brightness can also be adjusted once it appears on the screen. You can even print out a hard copy of the X-ray if needed. They are also beneficial for the environment because they do not use any chemicals for film development. There is no need to waste space for a darkroom to develop film and there is also no need for a storeroom.

Digital dental X-rays are helpful for diagnosing all types of dental problems very easily. The dentist can compare the current image with previous ones with the help of additional software programs, like subtraction radiography. This is highly effective for finding out even the smallest changes in the structure of the tooth or teeth. YOur local dentists can also discover minor dental problems by using digital X-rays, which was not possible in the past. Our dentists in Fort Collins will be more than happy to answer all of your digital X-ray questions.

Digital x-ray image