Periodontal Therapy in Glenview IL
What is Periodontal Disease?
Periodontal disease is often referred to as gum disease, however, this characterization can be a bit misleading. In actuality, periodontal disease is a bacterial infection that affects gum tissue and results in bone loss and damage to connective tissue that holds your teeth in place. This disease occurs as a result of chronic inflammation of the gum tissue caused by the presence of bacteria.
Gingivitis, which is characterized by swollen, red, tender gums along with bleeding when brushing or flossing, is a reversible process which is known as the precursor to periodontal disease. In this stage, plaque and bacteria become wedged in small pockets between the gums and teeth. When caught in this stage, we can often reverse the effects of the condition with a thorough cleaning, improved home care and, if needed, localized antimicrobial treatments. However, if untreated, gingivitis will progress to an irreversible process known as periodontal disease. As the disease progresses, bone loss occurs leading to larger pockets and recession (which is when your gums start to pull back from your tooth leading to exposure of the root surface). This may lead to increased sensitivity or decay and can, ultimately, result in loss of teeth due to the lack of bone support. In fact, periodontal disease is the number one cause of tooth loss among American adults.
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), approximately 50% of American adults have periodontal disease. This may seem surprising but many people suffer from periodontal disease and don't even know it as the early stages of the disease may not have any symptoms. When left untreated periodontal disease can lead to significant bone loss and eventual loss of teeth. Furthermore, a wide range of clinical studies have shown a connection between periodontal disease and many serious systemic health conditions including heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and pregnancy complications.
Can I Prevent Periodontal Disease?
At Gallery Park Dental, we strongly recommend preventive treatments like dental exams and cleanings as they are the most effective way to maintain excellent oral health. We stress prevention and work to educate our patients about proper home care techniques and practices to help prevent periodontal disease from occurring in the first place. Routine cleanings and examinations allow us to monitor the health of your teeth and diagnose problems like gum disease as early as possible. Unfortunately, some individuals may be more prone to periodontal disease, even with good home care, for a myriad of reasons. If we do identify the presence of a periodontal infection, we will work with you to treat the issue, halt the progression of the disease and focus on managing any effects of the disease going forward.
How is Periodontal Disease Identified?
Swollen gums or bleeding when you brush and floss are common signs that you may be suffering from some form of periodontal disease. Here are some other symptoms that have been associated with gum disease:
- Chronic bad breath or a bad taste in your mouth
- The feeling that your tooth is becoming loose
- Receding gums, which can cause your teeth to look longer
- A change in the way your teeth fit together
What is the Treatment for Periodontal Disease?
We will determine the extent of infection by performing a comprehensive periodontal examination. Depending on our findings, we will present the appropriate treatment recommendations which may include a deep cleaning. This involves scaling and root planing, a process where the surface of the tooth is smoothed and debris is removed from the pockets around the teeth to allow your gum tissue to heal and reattach to the tooth. Depending on the extent of the damage, we may also recommend localized antimicrobial therapy and/or surgery to eliminate any pocketing and allow the gums to heal more intimately to the teeth and bone.
Call Today to Schedule Your Appointment
The earlier we can catch periodontal disease, the easier it is to treat. Whatever the current state of your oral health, we’re here to help you get the care you need. If you are due for a cleaning or have any concerns about the presence of periodontal disease please contact our Glenview dental office to schedule an examination and cleaning.