Gum Disease, 80% Of Americans Have It

Gum disease

Gum Disease (periodontal disease) is a chronic infection of the gums. It is caused by bacterial plaque that accumulates on teeth and destroys the gums.  Plaque can accumulate on teeth if proper oral hygiene habits are not observed, although some people are simply more prone to plaque buildup than others. Various medications and health conditions also contribute to the development of periodontal problems.

Periodontal issues become evident when deeper pockets form at the gum line. These pockets occur when bacteria eat away at the bond between teeth and gums. In those pockets, bacteria breed and thrive, ultimately creating bigger and deeper pockets. Over time, gum disease can destroy the bone that holds a tooth in place. When gum and bone degenerate, a tooth can loosen or fall out. Eighty percent of Americans have some sort of periodontal disease. Gum disease is a leading cause of tooth loss in this country.

How does plaque cause problems?

Gum disease results from the interaction between plaque, bacteria, and food particles. Plaque is a thin, clear film that continually develops on the surface of your teeth. Plaque provides a home for bacteria to live and feed. Over time, plaque calcifies into a hard substance known as tartar, which can only be removed through professional dental cleanings. 

As bacteria consume sugars in your mouth, the microorganisms release acid that weakens and eventually erodes enamel. The acids also break down the attachment between the gum and the tooth. As the gum tissue peels away, the gums recede and the pockets get deeper.Once this process of erosion begins, it can only be stopped with professional treatments from a qualified dentist like Dr. Fondriest. If you experience any of these symptoms of periodontal disease, contact our Chicago area dentist office at 847.234.0517 to schedule an appointment with Dr. James Fondriest. Our practice mostly serves the Chicago metropolitan area including the North Shore and Northwest suburbs, but we often get patients from all over the United States.

Signs indicating periodontal disease

During your examination at our Chicago-area dental practice, Dr. Fondriest will inquire into your medical history while examining your mouth for symptoms of gum disease. Risk factors for gum disease include:

  • Tobacco use
  • Advanced age
  • A sugary diet
  • Poor oral hygiene habits
  • Crowded teeth
  • Certain medical conditions

Common symptoms of gum disease include:

  • Bleeding with brushing or flossing
  • Red, swollen, or tender gums
  • Persistent bad breath
  • Gums receding from teeth

Treatment options for gum disease

The disease has been linked to heart disease, diabetes, cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, and stroke. We believe in supporting optimal oral health and overall health through preventative care and state-of-the-art treatment. At your six-month checkups and cleanings, we’ll look for signs of periodontal disease and help you take measures to prevent or reverse the condition. Should you already have gum disease, we’ll recommend appropriate treatment, which may involve: 

Scaling and root planing:

Deep cleanings offer a safe and effective means of treating more advanced levels of gum disease. The restorative treatment is completed through two straightforward steps: scaling and root planing. Before your treatment begins, Dr. Fondriest or a member of our dental team will apply a topical anesthetic to your gums. Once you are comfortable, a special metal tool will be used to remove tartar buildup on your teeth. Then, your tooth roots will be smoothed through a process called root planing. Antibiotics may be applied to your gums. Most patients experience no complications or side effects following this straightforward procedure. 

Antibiotic therapy:

Antibiotics can play an important role in treating gum disease. If you have moderate to advanced levels of gum disease, you may be prescribed antibiotics to help fight the plaque infection. 

Dental cleanings:

Twice-a-year dental cleanings can prevent the return of gum disease. These professional cleanings can also treat mild forms of gum disease. During your treatment, one of our dental hygienists will remove deposits of plaque and tartar from your teeth before polishing your teeth using a rotary device. 

Surgery: Advanced levels of gum disease that cannot be addressed using non-surgical techniques may require oral surgery to restore oral health. 

Gum disease affects your oral health and your overall health

Gum disease has been linked to heart disease, diabetes, cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, and stroke. The Lake Forest Dental Arts team believes in preventing serious health problems by addressing oral health issues early through preventative care and state-of-the-art treatment. At your six-month checkups and cleanings, we’ll look for signs of periodontal disease and help you take measures to prevent or reverse the condition. If you have periodontal problems, we’ll recommend appropriate treatments.

If you experience any of these symptoms of periodontal disease, contact our Chicago area dentist office at 847.234.0517 to schedule an appointment with Dr. James Fondriest. He is renowned for creating healthy mouths and placing natural-looking dentistry. Help us help you enjoy a healthy, beautiful smile for life.