When thinking about dental care, it’s easy to forget about the gums. We all want a bright, white, flawless smile, and gums fade into the background. In fact, a gummy smile is often considered a flaw, which many patients want to correct. What you may not realize is that healthy gums are essential to a healthy mouth. You can’t have perfect teeth with unhappy gum tissue! Maintaining the health of your gums is just as important as any other part of your dental care, and Drs. Brent Engelberg Josh Oleari at AH Smiles are here to help.
About 75% of adults have suffered or are now suffering from gum disease, also known as gingivitis or periodontitis. Gum disease can be prevented with good oral hygiene habits, including brushing the gums, flossing, and using mouthwash; thankfully, if you do think you might be developing gum disease, treatment is readily available. If you catch your gum disease early, treatment can be quick and very effective. It can stop the disease in its tracks and prevent further damage.
Signs of Gum Disease
There are many signs of developing gum disease. A lot of them can be easy to overlook, including:
- Red or swollen gums
- Receding gums
- Bleeding gums when brushing or flossing
- Sores in the mouth
- Loose or shifted teeth
- Persistent bad breath
- Poor denture fit
If you see any of these signs, don’t brush them off! Contact AH Smiles and schedule a professional dental evaluation to stop and sometimes even reverse the effects.
Gingivitis vs. Periodontitis
There are two major stages of gum disease: gingivitis and periodontitis. These names refer to the same disease, but different progression. Gingivitis is the first stage of gum disease and can be identified by simple symptoms: puffy, red, and bleeding gums. The irritation is caused by plaque along the gum line. This is why brushing the gum line is very important. Periodontitis occurs if you ignore your basic gingivitis. The longer you wait, the further bacteria move into the gums until they begin to affect the roots of the teeth. In addition to basic irritation, periodontitis can cause loose teeth and receding gums. If your gum disease has reached this stage don’t panic. Treatment is still possible.
Drs. Engelberg and Oleari offer a range of periodontal therapy treatments at AH Smiles in Arlington Heights, IL. After an exam, your dentist will determine what combination of treatments is best suited to your mouth. Treatment options include:
- Anti-bacterial rinses
- The earlier the better when it comes to gum disease! Early-stage irritation can often be treated with a mouthwash regimen.
- Scaling and root planing
- This is an intensive dental cleaning that works below the gum line to clean the roots of the teeth.
- Laser dentistry
- This comparatively new technique is minimally invasive and can remove damaged tissue with less pain than traditional methods.
- Referral to a specialist
- Sometimes, gum disease is too advanced for Drs. Engelberg and Oleari to effectively treat. In these cases, your dentist will refer you to a specialist for further treatment.
Treat Your Gum Disease
The early signs of gum disease are easy to ignore, but earlier treatment is easier treatment. If you think you may be showing the signs of gum disease, contact AH Smiles online or at (847) 230-9703 and let Dr. Engelberg and Oleari treat your early or advanced gum disease.