Plain and simple, gum disease causes tooth loss. Also, it harms your systemic health. At Lynch Dental Center in River Forest and Chicago IL, your dentists, Drs. John, Sheila, and Frances Lynch work with their patients to prevent this prevalent oral health problem. Your smile can thrive for life! Just talk to your River Forest dentist today!
What is gum disease?
Also called periodontal disease, gum disease is a chronic oral health problem affecting the soft tissues which support and nourishes your teeth and bone structure. Healthy gums are pink and resemble the collar on a turtleneck sweater. They have surrounding pockets, or sulci, which measure one to three millimeters when healthy.
When plaque, tartar, and their associated Strep bacteria overrun these pockets, people develop gum disease. It varies in intensity from mild gingivitis to advanced periodontitis which causes tooth loss, destruction of the jaw bone, and systemic health problems such as diabetes, heart disease, stroke, dementia, and hypertension.
What are the symptoms of gum disease?
In its earlier stages, gum disease has few noticeable symptoms. It's one of the many reasons your biannual appointments at River Forest dentist are so important. However, as it progresses--and it will worsen if untreated--periodontal disease exhibits:
- Bleeding, swollen, red, and tender gum tissue
- Pus underneath the gums
- Bad breath
- Loose teeth which begin to develop gaps
- Pain upon biting and chewing
- Mouth sores
- Badly fitting dentures
- Changing dental bite
- Receded gum tissue
- Gum pockets deeper than three millimeters as measured on the exam by your hygienist or dentist in their River Forest or Chicago IL office
How can I prevent it?
Yes, you can prevent gum disease by limiting risk factors such as alcohol consumption and smoking. Also, you can increase your intake of water and high-fiber dietary choices. Your River Forest dentist wants all their patients to receive in-office exams and cleanings every six months to watch for signs of gum disease and to remove plaque and tartar.
And, of course, your best tools in preventing or managing gum disease are twice a day brushing and once-daily flossing. These practices are very valuable in the war against gum disease, decay, and tooth loss, says the American Academy of Periodontology.
For people with gum problems, Lynch Dental Center offers a wide array of treatment options, including:
- Deep cleanings and root planing
- Instillation of antibiotics below the gum line
- Laser gum therapy
- Gum tissue grafting
Know all you can
At Lynch Dental Center in River Forest and Chicago IL, dentists Dr. John Lynch, Dr. Sheila Lynch, and Dr. Frances Lynch are all about prevention and education. To stay on top of your gum health, ask their advice on ways to prevent this oral health issue. Call us to arrange your routine cleaning and exam today: (312) 263-3235 for our Chicago office, (708) 366-6411 for our River Forest IL office.