Periodontal Disease in Chicago IL 60646
Periodontal disease, also known as gum disease, is characterized by the excessive growth of bacteria in the mouth. Gum disease is divided into three stages: gingivitis, periodontitis, and advanced periodontitis. Gingivitis can be treated before it develops into later stages of gum disease. Daily brushing and flossing, routine dental cleanings, and a healthy diet can all help prevent gum disease.
The Stages of Gum Disease
Bacteria that builds up on the teeth is called plaque. Plaque is easy to remove because it has not yet hardened. If too much plaque builds up, it turns into calculus, a hard substance that can only be removed during a dental cleaning. This causes inflammation of the gums, which is known as gingivitis, the earliest stage of periodontal disease. Gingivitis is characterized by red, inflamed, bleeding gums, and bad breath. Gingivitis affects over 90% of the population, and should be treated before it progresses to worsening stages of gum disease.
The next stage of gum disease is called periodontitis. When periodontitis develops, the gums become more damaged and begin to pull away from the teeth. They begin forming pockets in between the teeth, called gum recession. Bacteria gets caught in these pockets and will eventually attack the connective tissues and bones, which ultimately develops into the final stage of gum disease. Scaling and root planing are two forms of deep cleaning that help prevent gum disease from progressing even further. With deep cleaning, build-up can be removed and the gums can be smoothed out and reattached to the teeth.
In the final stage of gum disease, called advanced periodontitis, patients begin experiencing loose teeth and deepening pockets as the connective tissues and bone become increasingly damaged. During this stage, the teeth are extremely sensitive. Advanced periodontitis often requires surgery to reshape the gums, bones, and tissues. If you are experiencing any symptoms related to gum disease or wish to prevent gum disease, schedule an appointment with Dr. Raffi for periodontal disease treatment.