Did you know that almost half of all American adults have some type of periodontal (gum) disease? That’s about 64.7 million people. Left untreated, gum disease can lead to more serious problems, including losing teeth and bone decay. At Glen Dental Center in Glenview, Illinois, Jeffrey Gilmor, DDS, Verena Phillips, DDS, and their caring team regularly work with patients who are suffering from gum disease. To protect the health of your gums, call the office to make an appointment today.
Periodontal disease is an inflammation or infection of the soft tissues and other structures that surround your teeth, including your gums, alveolar bone, and periodontal ligament.
Your mouth contains dozens of different types of bacteria. Some of these bacteria prevent tooth decay and promote oral health. The bacteria found in dental plaque does just the opposite.
A growing body of evidence suggests that this bad bacteria increases your risk of other serious health problems, including heart disease, diabetes, and respiratory infections.
Of the many different types of periodontal disease, the two most common are gingivitis and periodontitis.
Gingivitis is the mildest and most common form of gum disease. It causes your gums to become red, irritated, and slightly swollen and is usually due to poor oral hygiene. If your gums bleed when you brush or floss, gingivitis could be to blame.
Fortunately, when caught in the early stages, it’s possible to treat and even reverse gingivitis before it causes further damage.
Periodontitis is an advanced form of gum disease that occurs when plaque and bad bacteria are able to break beneath your gumline. This process triggers your body’s inflammatory responses, which causes your gums to recede and pull away from your teeth.
Left untreated, periodontitis can eat away at your jaw bone and cause tooth loss. Evidence also suggests that periodontitis can increase your risk of chronic health problems, including cardiovascular disease and diabetes.
Periodontal disease is a serious problem, but steps can be taken to prevent it.
If you want to lower your risk, the team at Glen Dental Center recommends brushing and flossing your teeth every day, eating a healthy, well-balanced diet, and visiting the office for an exam and professional cleaning every six months.
You should also look at your gums in the mirror. If you notice that they look irritated and/or swollen, schedule a checkup.
Periodontal disease is typically treated in one of two ways:
During a scaling procedure, your dentist carefully removes deposits of plaque and tartar from the surface of your teeth. Left untreated, periodontal disease causes your gums to pull away from your teeth, creating pockets where more bacteria can grow. By addressing these pockets, your risk of gum disease and recession drops significantly.
Root planing, on the other hand, involves your dentist smoothing out the rough, outer surfaces of your teeth. The smoother your tooth enamel is, the harder it is for plaque and bacteria to build up and cause decay.
Dental crown lengthening is a more time-intensive procedure and involves the surgical removal of excess bone and gum tissue. Your dentist might recommend dental crown lengthening if your periodontal disease has affected the size, structure, or integrity of one or more teeth.
By exposing more of your natural tooth material, it’s easier for your Glen Dental Center provider to attach a crown or other oral prosthetic.
If you’re concerned about your risk of periodontal disease, make an appointment at Glen Dental Center. Call the office or click the booking tool today.