About Gum Disease
Many patients who visit our Skokie family dentist office fall within a spectrum of periodontal disease, ranging from an inflammation of the gums (gingivitis) to a chronic disease of the gums and bone (periodontitis).
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that half of Americans aged 30 or older have periodontitis, the more advanced form of gum disease. It is common to experience little or no symptoms or obvious signs of gum disease. For this reason, regular visits to the dentist are critical to preventing and managing gum disease.
Common signs of gum disease include:
- Red, swollen or sore gums
- Bleeding gums
- Receding gums
- Loose teeth
- Mouth sores or pus between gums and teeth
- Bad breath (halitosis)
- Changes in the fit of dentures
Gum Disease Treatment
Skokie dentist Dr. Kunnel offers several treatment options for periodontal disease. If you have early signs of gum disease, she may recommend frequent dental cleanings to restore your gums to optimal health.
If more intensive treatment is needed, Dr. Kunnel may recommend a deep teeth cleaning known as scaling and root planning. During this procedure, the dentist will remove plaque and tartar from the deep pockets of the gum.
Patients who have advanced signs of gum disease may require more intense treatment or surgery. Dr. Kunnel may refer you to a local periodontist, a dentist who specializes in gum health, for treatment.
Gum Disease FAQs
What Causes Gum Disease?
Plaque is constantly forming in the mouth. If it is not removed daily by brushing and flossing, it can harden into tartar. Bacteria thrives in this environment and over time, it can develop into gingivitis, an early stage of gum disease.
Gingivitis can progress into an infection, destroy gum tissue and eventually degrade bone to the point that teeth can become loose or missing.
What can be done to prevent gum disease
The best way to fight gum disease is prevention. Dr. Kunnel encourages patients to brush twice a day and floss at least once a day. Regular visits to our Skokie family dentist office will also help reduce your risk for developing gum disease.
Another important step to preventing gum disease is having a healthy diet. This means limiting sodas, sweets and snacks between meals. Drinking water will also help reduce bacteria in the mouth.