What Is Gum Disease?
Gum disease is an infection of the gums. It’s preventable, yet also quite common. Certain people are at a higher risk, such as those who smoke and individuals with dementia. In fact, Alzheimer’s and gum disease are closely intertwined, and there is some evidence to suggest that the unhealthy bacteria levels found in people with gum disease can increase the risk of this form of dementia.
Gum disease starts when plaque forms on the teeth. Unless you remove it by brushing and flossing, plaque can quickly harden into tartar. Tartar can’t be removed via brushing; only a professional dental hygienist or dentist can remove it. Over time, the buildup on your teeth and under the gums leads to gingivitis, the earliest stage of periodontal disease.
We can easily reverse gingivitis with professional deep cleaning, provided you follow a good at-home oral care routine moving forward and quit smoking, if applicable. Otherwise, gingivitis can progress to advanced periodontitis. Deep pockets form between the gums and teeth, gum tissue and bone break down, and the teeth will loosen.
Reduce Your Risk of Periodontal Disease
Gum disease is serious, but it’s also preventable. One of the best ways to reduce your risk of periodontal disease is to schedule twice-yearly visits at Lakeside Dental. Our dental hygienists will remove your tartar buildup and check on the health of your gums. You should also do the following:
- Brush gently with a soft-bristled toothbrush for at least two minutes at least twice daily.
- Floss at least once daily.
- Quit smoking, if applicable, or don’t start smoking.
A water flosser can help irrigate your gums and keep them healthier, but it cannot entirely replace actual floss.
Do You Have Gum Disease Symptoms?
If you notice any potential gum disease symptoms, you should schedule an appointment at Lakeside Dental promptly, even if it’s not yet time for your twice-yearly cleaning. Watch out for the following red flags:
- Swollen, puffy, bright red, or purplish gums
- Bleeding after brushing or flossing
- Bad breath
- Painful chewing
- Loose teeth
- Changes in your teeth alignment
- Gum recession
Gum Disease Treatment Options
For those wondering how to cure gum disease without a dentist, you should know that you really do need professional care to resolve this problem. We offer a full range of gum disease treatment options at Lakeside Dental. First, we’ll do a thorough exam with pocket depth measurements so that we can fully understand your oral health and identify the right treatment for you. We’ll also explain our recommendations and address all of your questions. Your treatment options depend on how far your gum disease has progressed.
If your condition hasn’t progressed too far, we can perform scaling and root planing. Scaling involves removing the hard tartar buildup and bacteria from your teeth, including beneath the gum line. This removes the source of the inflammation and allows your gums to begin healing. Root planing eliminates bacterial byproducts and smooths the surfaces. This encourages the healthy reattachment of the gums and helps reduce new tartar formation.
If your gum disease has advanced to the point at which the underlying structures are beginning to break down, you will need more intensive therapy. Traditionally, patients had to undergo invasive gum surgery. At Lakeside Dental, we’re pleased to offer the high-tech laser-assisted new attachment procedure (LANAP) system. This gentle laser is capable of eliminating the bacteria and its byproducts, as well as stimulating the regeneration of new gum tissue and bone matter. Plus, it involves little downtime and offers a far more comfortable patient experience.
Request a Visit at Lakeside Dental in North Barrington, IL
If you suspect you have gum disease, waiting to seek dental care will only make the problem worse and place you at risk of severe complications. At Lakeside Dental, you will receive gentle, stress-free care within a friendly, professional environment. Plus, you can cuddle with our therapy dog, Nano, while you receive your treatment! Contact us today to request an appointment with Dr. Century or Dr. Singla in North Barrington, IL.