Treating Your Gums, Dentist near Palos Heights
Periodontal disease or simply gum disease, is the single most common cause of tooth loss in adults. This inflammatory disease attacks the gums, bone and other supporting structures of the teeth.
Gum disease is caused by plaque, a colorless film of bacteria that forms on the teeth. Plaque mixes with sugars and starches in the diet to form acids and other by-products in the mouth, irritating the gums and causing them to become red, tender and swollen. It also causes the gums to bleed easily. If not removed daily, plaque hardens to form calculus (tartar) around the necks of the teeth.
The tissue that attaches the gums to the teeth can be destroyed by the irritants in plaque. The gums pull away from the teeth and small pockets form between the teeth and gums.
These pockets become filled with more plaque. As pockets deepen, it becomes impossible for you to clean the plaque out. Eventually the bone structure supporting the teeth can be destroyed.
Treatment The type of treatment you require from your Palos Heights dentist depends on how advanced your particular case is. Individualized treatment may include any of the following:
- More frequent cleanings - It may take the bacteria at the base of the pocket up to three months to colonize into numbers able to destroy bone. Frequent cleanings can prevent this buildup.
- Scaling and root planing - Scaling is removing the calculus deposits from your teeth. Root planing is the smoothing of the root surfaces so that the gum tissue can reattach to the tooth.
- Curettage - Removes the soft tissue lining the periodontal pocket. This helps the gum tissue to heal.
- Gingivectomy - The surgical removal of the periodontal pocket to allow easier access for cleaning.
- Flap surgery - Allows us to gain access to the root of the tooth for removal of calculus, plaque and diseased tissue. The gum is then secured back into place.