Periodontal Disease Prevention in Chicago, Illinois
Meaning “around the tooth” periodontal disease affects the structures that support the teeth like gums and bones. When plaque (a gummy film of food, saliva and bacteria) is not removed, it becomes calculus or tartar. Left unchecked, plaque can begin to wear away at the gums and bone, resulting in red, swollen or bleeding gums.
Because periodontal disease is virtually painless in the early stages, most people don’t even realize they have it! In fact, four out of five adults have the disease and don’t know it.
Periodontal disease is serious. If you smoke, you’re at a much greater risk. Research has also shown links to stroke, bacterial pneumonia, diabetes, cardiovascular disease and increased risk during pregnancy. It is also the number one reason for tooth loss. Researchers are currently trying to determine if these afflictions are triggered or aided by the inflammation and bacteria from periodontal disease.
You can keep periodontal disease at bay with a balanced diet, limited sweet snacks, regular brushing and flossing, and dental appointments.
How Do I Know If I Have Periodontal Disease?
- Bleeding gums. Gums should never bleed, even when you brush forcefully or use dental floss
- Loose teeth. Also caused by bone loss or deteriorated periodontal fibers (fibers that connect the tooth to the bone)
- Tenderness or discomfort caused irritation from plaque, tartar, and bacteria
- New spacing between teeth
- Pus around the teeth and gums — a sure sign of infection
- Receding gums
- Red, swollen gums
- Chronic bad breath
Am I a Candidate for Periodontics?
By now, most of our patients know about periodontal disease, also called gum disease, but not many may be able to explain how it works. In our Forest Glen, Illinois, office, Harold Krinsky, DDS, is eager for patients to find out if they are a candidate for periodontics, and understand just what it all means.
What Is Periodontics?
The issue of periodontal disease is quite frightening when you come to understand just what is going on inside of the mouth. Essentially, gum disease worsens if left untreated, and over time, it makes its way between the teeth and the gum tissue. This allows more and more bacteria and plaque to build up and irritate the soft tissue. This also irritates and loosens the bones supporting the teeth, such as the roots, and soon a tooth may even be lost to the disease.
Fortunately, as your dentist in Forest Glen, Dr. Krinsky can provide you with basic to advanced periodontics and gum treatment. Whether it is several in-depth cleanings after you have been diagnosed with early stages of gum disease or more intense treatments such as scaling, if you are told you are a candidate for periodontics, you can and must take action.
What if I’m a Candidate for Periodontics?
The good news for those told they are a candidate for Periodontics is that it is an advanced and relatively painless treatment that can use local anesthesia in order to allow your hygienist or Dr. Krinsky to do the deep cleaning and any further treatment to address infection or promote healing.
If you are at risk for the loss of a tooth, Dr. Krinsky may also suggest periodontal surgery that can attempt to eliminate seriously infected or inflamed tissue.
Once the periodontal disease is under control, you can maintain the health of the teeth and gums through effective daily brushing and flossing, the use of special medications or rinses, and regular cleanings and checkups. Traditional dental exams always look for any sign of gum disease and will ensure that gum treatment is done to eliminate threats. If left too long, the condition can cost you one or more teeth, so don’t hesitate to get in for an exam today and be sure your teeth and gums are in top condition.
Your dental checkup should always include a periodontal diagnosis exam. Your dentist or dental hygienist will perform this exam by using a small tool called a periodontal probe. This tool measures the spaces or pockets between your teeth (sulcus). A depth of 3 mm or less and no bleeding is an indication of a healthy sulcus. The spaces usually increase as periodontal disease increases.
Based on the depth of the pockets, the amount of bleeding, inflammation and tooth flexibility, your dentist or hygienist determine with of the following is suited for your periodontal diagnosis.
The first stage of periodontal disease, gingivitis is characterized by bleeding of the gums, and tender inflamed skin due to bacteria and toxins.
Periodontitis is characterized by deeper pockets in the gums due to an excess of plaque and tartar. This causes the gums to recede from the teeth. As the pockets become deeper, they may become filled with bacteria and pus. You may experience slight to moderate bone loss and your gums may bleed easily.
During this stage, moderate to severe bone loss causes the teeth to loosen from the gums at an accelerated rate. The bone and periodontal ligament continue to wear down. Without treatment, tooth loss may occur.
Your dentist or dental hygienist will determine the appropriate periodontal treatment based on the stage of the disease and level of severity.
Periodontal disease is characterized by the eventual wearing away of the space between the tooth and gums. As the space gets wider, it fills with tartar, bacteria, and plaque, causing the surrounding tissues to become red, swollen and irritated. If left unchecked, the bones that support the teeth will loosen to the point of tooth loss!
Caught in the early stages with no damage, gingivitis can be treated with one of two deep cleanings and a commitment to improved oral hygiene. It is important to closely follow all instructions given by your dentist.
In the more advanced stages, a specialized cleaning called scaling and root planing will be required. Local anesthesia is usually applied and the cleaning is done on one section of the mouth at a time. This procedure is intended to remove the buildup of tartar and plaque from above and below the gum line (scaling). The rough spots on the surfaces of the roots are also smoothed (planing). This treatment will shrink the space in between the teeth and help the tissue to heal. You can speed up healing and control infection with the use of electric toothbrushes and medicated mouthwashes and rinses.
If additional scaling and root planing are ineffective in helping the tissue to heal, periodontal surgery or a referral to a periodontal specialist may be necessary.
Daily brushing is vital. If plaque is not removed from the teeth after 24 hours, it turns to calculus (tartar). Flossing and general maintenance will help keep it under control, but it is essential to see your dentist for those hard-to-reach places.
Regular cleanings are recommended four times a year after treatment for periodontal disease. This includes measuring pocket depths to make sure they are decreasing. Your dentist or hygienist will remove plaque and tartar that builds up under the gum line; ensuring your teeth and gums stay healthy.
Here’s What You Can Expect at Your Periodontal Cleaning
- Your X-rays will be examined to determine tooth and root positions
- Current fillings, crowns and all restorations will be examined
- All surfaces will be checked for tooth decay
- Your face, neck, lips, tongue, throat, cheek tissues, and gums will be checked for signs of oral cancer
- Your oral hygiene routines will be evaluated and checked. Recommendations may be made for electric toothbrushes, special periodontal brushes, fluorides, rinses and other products
- Your teeth will be cleaned and polished and stains will be removed
Periodontal disease is a serious condition, but with regular periodontal maintenance and good oral hygiene, it can be kept under control.
The Benefits of Periodontal Treatment
What exactly is a periodontal treatment? Well, in and of its essence, it is a way of restoring the appearance of your teeth and preventing gum disease by means of a deep cleaning. It gives you a beautiful smile and the healthy mouth that goes along with it.
For a lot of people in the Sauganash area, periodontal treatment can correct a multitude of issues that they may be having with their gums and teeth. It can ease pain, and also correct problems that could get much worse over time if they are left unattended.
There are three main benefits of periodontal treatment. First of all, a deep cleaning works to break down bacteria that can collect under the gum line. It destroys these bacteria pockets, preventing further deterioration. Second, it prevents disease from taking hold and makes it possible for regular cleanings to do the work they were meant to do. Third, it restores function to your mouth by making your gums and teeth stronger — if you’ve been unable to brush effectively because you find it uncomfortable, regular periodontal treatments can ease the pain.
Do you have questions about periodontics? The following are periodontics FAQs and their answers, which can help you get up to speed when it comes to this area of dentistry.
What Is Periodontics?
Periodontics is a type of dental specialty. In this case, it focuses on the treatment of the bone and soft tissue, or the gums, which help to support the teeth, as well as the jaw. Our Forest Glen dentists have experience in this field.
Who Is a Periodontist?
Someone who is a periodontist has the training needed, which is required by the ADA (American Dental Association) when it comes to treating gum disease, also called periodontal disease.
What Is Periodontal Disease?
This is one of the most common of the periodontics FAQs. Periodontal disease is a disease that occurs when a large amount of plaque has accumulated on the surface of the tooth near the gum line. If it is not removed – through brushing and flossing – it has the potential to harden. At this point, it is called tartar, which can, in turn, cause gingivitis. If the gingivitis is not treated properly, it can become periodontal disease.
What Are the Symptoms?
The following are some of the most common symptoms of the disease.
- Bleeding gums when flossing or brushing
- Sore gums
- Red, swollen gums
- Large spaces that form between teeth
- Loose teeth
- Teeth that appear longer
- Chronic bad breath
If not treated, the disease can actually contribute to a number of other health issues such as diabetes and even heart disease.
Is the Disease Treatable?
Another one of the common periodontics FAQs is whether the disease is treatable. Fortunately, there are ways to treat it. You will want to speak with your periodontics expert about which of the options is best for you. There are surgical and nonsurgical treatments available, as well as periodontal therapy, dental implants, and at home care routines.
Who Is at Risk?
Those who are at a higher risk include people who do not brush or floss regularly, as well as those who use tobacco products. In addition, those who have family members with periodontal disease are at a higher risk.
Contact Our Chicago Dentist for Periodontics Today
If you have more questions not covered in the periodontics FAQs, you will want to speak with the dentists in our Chicago office. We can provide you with the information you need about the gum treatment and much more. Visit our contact page, or call us at 773-685-9666.