Periodontics involves the preventing, diagnosing, and treating periodontal disease. Drs. Stein and Weiss at The Stein Center for Advanced Dentistry offer comprehensive periodontal care in Skokie, IL.
Periodontal Disease Explained
Periodontal disease is an infection of the soft and hard supportive tissues in the mouth and jaw. These include gum tissue, bone tissue, and the ligaments and muscles. Most commonly, periodontal disease begins as gingivitis. While gingivitis symptoms may seem normal, any irritation or inflammation of the gums should be treated to prevent the spread of infection.
Gingivitis symptoms can range from mild to moderate, and include:
- Red or inflamed gums
- Bleeding gums after normal brushing or eating
- Pain or discomfort when chewing
If not treated, the infection causing gingivitis can spread and grow to affect additional surrounding tissues. Once the infection spreads, a more advanced form of the disease can occur. Periodontitis is a condition where gums begin separating from the teeth, creating “pockets” along the teeth and gum lines. Periodontitis causes excessive tooth loss, bone tissue loss, and damage to gums or other soft tissues. This advanced form of gum disease is more common than you may think; The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that nearly half of American adults aged 30 and older have a form of periodontitis. As a result, periodontal disease is the leading cause of tooth loss in adults.
Common risk factors may include frequent use of tobacco products, hormonal changes, poor oral hygiene, and diabetes. Some medications increase your chances of developing periodontal disease, too. Some studies have found that left untreated, periodontal disease can cause damage to other areas of the body. It’s especially true for diabetics or patients living with heart disease.
The most common treatment for gum disease is known as deep cleaning or scaling and root planning, and involves cleaning the infected teeth roots and gum tissues. Our hygienist can perform this gentle and effective removal of tartar, calculus, and infected tissue. For more advanced cases of periodontitis, surgical processes may be needed to fully remove infection. Dental implants may be placed for teeth that have been affected by the spread of infection.
Preventing Periodontal Disease
When plaque and tartar are left untreated on teeth and gums, gingivitis may develop. You can reduce your risk of this gum disease by brushing twice and flossing once every day. Practicing proper dental hygiene is the most inexpensive and easiest way to prevent periodontal disease. You should also have a dental exam and professional cleaning at least twice each year.
Though plaque is the number one cause of periodontal disease, common risk factors can increase a patient’s likelihood of developing the condition. These include poor oral hygiene habits, diabetes, smoking, and hormonal changes. Some medications can also increase your likelihood of developing periodontal disease. Many recent studies have found that untreated infection in the teeth and gums negatively impacts other aspects of your overall health. This is especially common for patients with cardiovascular disease or diabetes.
Protect Your Teeth and Gums
Do your oral health and overall wellbeing a favor by scheduling a consultation and periodontal disease screening today. The sooner you treat early signs of periodontal disease, the better your overall health will be. Contact The Stein Center for Advanced Dentistry to schedule your appointment.