You probably hear a lot about making sure to carefully brush and floss your teeth, but how much do you hear about taking the time to care for your gums too? Gum health is just as important as clean teeth. Unhealthy gums can be behind chronic bad breath, or be the cause of so much discomfort you become reluctant to brush your teeth at all. Consistently neglecting your gums can eventually lead to periodontal disease, also often referred to as gum disease. This can have serious consequences on your overall health. Chicago Dental Esthetics can help you treat your periodontal disease, and give you the resources you need to stop it from ever happening again.
What is Periodontal Disease?
Also known as periodontitis, gum disease is an infection that starts in the soft tissue around the teeth before eventually spreading to the underlying bone as well. Neglecting oral hygiene gives bacterial plaque the chance to build up beneath the tooth. Eventually, this will inflame the soft tissue, infecting the gums.
Types of Periodontal Disease
You may have heard of a condition known as gingivitis mentioned alongside gum disease. Technically speaking, gingivitis is a separate condition, but it can also cause bloody and inflamed gums that can give way to true gum disease if not treated. Periodontitis continues what gingivitis started, infecting and damaging bone and soft tissue until your teeth are destabilized. There are two types, chronic periodontitis which works more slowly, and aggressive periodontitis which is fast-acting and can happen even in patients with good oral hygiene.
The Causes of Periodontal Disease
While aggressive periodontitis can flare up out of nowhere, gum disease is typically the result of poor oral hygiene that has let plaque run amok. Other factors that can cause gum disease include severely crooked teeth that create convenient pockets for build-up of plaque, pregnancy, and smoking. Gum disease might also be a side-effect of something else, like taking certain medications, from diabetes, and even genetic factors.
Do You Have Periodontal Disease?
While the best and easiest way to diagnose gum disease is by coming into our office for a comprehensive exam, if you think you might be suffering from it there are a few common symptoms you can look for. Diseased gums are sensitive gums, so if it hurts when brushing or flossing, if you see blood afterwards, or if eating and talking are difficult then there is a good chance you may have gum disease.
Preventing and Treating Periodontal Disease
We strongly recommend the American Dental Association’s official guidance to brush your teeth twice a day for two minutes each time. Pay attention to your gums too while brushing, but be careful not to brush too aggressively and aggravate the gums instead. If you have already contracted gum disease, then we will first perform a deep cleaning before evaluating the next best step for your oral health.
Stop Periodontal Disease in its Tracks
Want to learn more about how we can help treat your gum disease? Give Chicago Dental Esthetics a call at (224) 341-5162 to find out more today!