What Is Gum Disease?
Periodontitis, or gum disease, is a bacterial infection that can result in damaged gums and ultimately, loss of teeth. Symptoms include bleeding during brushing, chronic bad breath, red and swollen gums, receding gum line and loose or shifting teeth.
When plaque builds up along the gum line, gums become inflamed and begin to pull away from the teeth. This is why it is very important to remove the sticky film of plaque that forms on the teeth every day!
Scaling & Root Planing
Scaling and root planing or a “deep cleaning” is a non-surgical periodontal therapy that removes accessible calculus (tartar), bacterial toxins, and etiological agents that cause inflammation to the gum tissue and surrounding bone. The goal of scaling and root planing is to eliminate disease and return the supporting structures of the teeth to a healthy state that can be maintained by home care and professional maintenance appointments at our office.
Benefits of Scaling and Root Planing
- Systemic Disease Prevention. The oral bacteria that is found in periodontal infections can travel via the blood stream to other parts of the body. Research has shown that lung disease, heart disease, diabetes, cancer, low birth weight babies and other health concerns have been linked to periodontal disease.
- Reduce Inflammation and Bleeding. Reducing the amount of inflammation in the oral cavity is imperative for optimal oral health. When gum pockets are inflamed and exceed 3mm, there is a greater risk of periodontal disease because they tend to house more bacteria. The body’s inflammatory response to the bacteria begins to destroy gingival and bone tissue, which eventually leads to tooth loss.
- Better Breath. One of the most common signs of periodontal disease is halitosis or bad breath. Scaling and root planing helps alleviate persistent bad odor in the mouth by removing food particles and bacteria.
- Cosmetic Effects. As an added bonus, if superficial stains are present on the teeth, they will be removed in the process of scaling and root planing. Teeth that once appeared stained can become shades lighter after scaling and root planing!
After a patient has had any type of periodontal therapy, including osseous surgery or scaling and root planing, your dentist recommends having frequent periodontal maintenance appointments. Once periodontal disease is brought under control with treatment, it is very important that the patient obtains periodontal maintenance care on a regular basis from their dentist, hygienist or periodontist. Periodontal maintenance is deeper than a normal cleaning. Patients with a history of periodontal disease need a deeper cleaning because they have formed pockets and spaces due to previous bone loss. Data suggests that most patients with a history of periodontitis should obtain periodontal maintenance at least four times a year, since that interval results in a decreased likelihood of disease progression. Contact our doctors and staff at Endodontic Associates of Illinois to learn more about periodontal maintenance in Oakbrook Terrace, and Naperville.
Stages of Periodontal Disease
Crown lengthening is a procedure that is designed to improve the health of the gum tissue, or to prepare the mouth for restorative or cosmetic procedures. Crown lengthening exposes more of the natural tooth by reshaping or recontouring the bone and gum tissue. This treatment can be performed on a single tooth, many teeth or the all of the teeth. The Endodontic Associates of Illinois specialize in crown lengthening in Oakbrook Terrace, and Naperville.
Crown lengthening is a versatile and common procedure that has many health benefits. Many times one of more teeth have a deep cavity, trauma or other type of damage that needs preparation prior to a restoration. Your general dentist is able to work closely with our doctors and staff at Endodontic Associates of Illinois to prepare the teeth and create your new restoration!
Periodontal or osseous surgery is a surgical procedure intended to restore a patient’s gums to a healthier, more natural state. When your dentist recommends periodontal or osseous surgery, it is necessary to adequately address the pockets that are too deep to clean with daily at-home oral hygiene and professional care. If a patient has periodontal disease, the supporting tissue and bone are destroyed, and this forms deep pockets around the teeth. Over time, these pockets become deeper and provide a larger space for bacteria to live. As the bacteria is allowed to proliferate, the body’s immune response results in further bone and tissue loss. To reduce the need for extractions, periodontal or osseous surgery may be recommended. Often times, regeneration of lost bone is performed during this procedure to stabilize an ailing periodontium. Overall the main goal of the procedure is access to difficult areas for effective cleaning.
Soft Tissue/ Gum Grafting
When a patient experiences recession of the gingival tissue or gums, the body loses its natural defense against both bacterial penetration and trauma. This leaves the teeth more susceptible to infection and damage. Minor recession may not require any treatment because there is still some healthy gingiva that remains and protects the tooth. However, when recession reaches the mucosa, the tooth’s first line of defense against bacteria is lost. If the recession becomes significant it can predispose a tooth to worsening recession and expose the root of the tooth. The root of the tooth is much softer than the hard enamel and when exposed it can lead to cavities on the root and other damage to the root. In addition, having the root of the tooth exposed can cause many harmful effects such as, sensitivity to hot and cold and an unpleasant appearance of long brown teeth.
A gingival graft is designed to solve the problems associated with gum recession. A thin piece of tissue is taken from either the roof of the mouth or from a donor source and moved to where it is needed. This helps provide a stable band of healthy tissue around the teeth that need it the most to ensure long-term success.
The bone grafting procedure is required when the jawbone has deteriorated to the point where it can no longer support existing or replacement teeth. The jawbone holds the roots of teeth in place; your teeth depend on the integrity of the bone to keep from shifting when you bite or chew. When a tooth is lost, the bone, which no longer serves the function of holding the root, begins to erode until it creates a hollow cavity in your jawline. Once significant bone loss has occurred, your oral surgeon will need to perform a bone graft before any replacement teeth can be placed – and before further deterioration causes damage to neighboring teeth.