Periodontal (gum) disease is a bacterial infection of the supporting tissues (gum and bone) around your teeth. As the disease progresses, gum pockets become deeper, which collect even more bacteria, resulting in further tissue damage (gum recession and bone loss). If left untreated, teeth become loose and may have to be extracted. Indeed, gum disease is the leading cause of tooth loss and may be associated with other chronic diseases, including diabetes and heart disease.
There are several indicators of periodontal disease.
The most effective way to prevent gum disease is by seeing your general dentist every 6 months for regular check-ups and cleanings and practicing good oral hygiene at home.
Gum disease treatment can vary based on what is causing the disease and how advanced it is. You may just need a professional teeth cleaning from your general dentist. In more severe cases of gingivitis and other gum diseases, more advanced cleanings and methods may be necessary to preserve the teeth and gums. At Premier Orthodontics & Dental Specialists in Elmhurst and Downers Grove, our periodontal specialist, Dr. Jingyuan Fan, specializes in treatments that preserve and restore teeth and gums. Procedures that Dr. Fan performs to prevent gum disease include:
It’s essential to keep up with your dental cleanings as recommended by Dr. Fan after undergoing treatment for gum disease. You may need more cleanings that usual following periodontal treatment. Otherwise, your periodontal disease may advance further, and you could lose your teeth. Dr. Fan will recommend post-treatment instructions for each individual patient. Over time and with good care, fewer appointments may be needed if your teeth and gums are in healthy condition.
Dr. Fan may also recommend medication after receiving treatment for periodontal disease. Medication will help to prevent infection and reduce any pain caused by treatment. Types of medication that may be prescribed following periodontal disease treatment include mouth rinses, oral pills, or medication placed directly into the gum pocket following your cleaning.
Your teeth and gums may feel more sensitive than usual following treatment for periodontal disease. This is completely normal and partly why Dr. Fan will recommend medication following treatment to ease any discomfort. Dr. Fan will also recommend specific home care, and it’s essential to follow Dr. Fan’s instructions to avoid further discomfort. Often times, when teeth feel sensitive, people avoid brushing the sensitive area. This can cause further root decay and more damage to your teeth. Follow Dr. Fan’s care instructions precisely and feel free to give our office a call if you have any questions or concerns about home care.