For 80% of American adults, periodontal (gum) disease is a serious oral health issue. At his Chicago dental office, Dr. Oladimeji Ogbara focuses on helping improve patient awareness of the condition and its long-term consequences. For individuals suffering from the condition, our Chicago family dentist offers a number of non-surgical treatment options.
What Causes Gum Disease?
Periodontal disease is the inflammation of the gum tissue caused by the accumulation of plaque and tartar on the gum line. Over the course of three distinct stages, inflammation slowly spreads between the gums and teeth, creating periodontal pockets or spaces where bacteria and debris become trapped. In its most severe stage, periodontitis erodes the connective tissue holding teeth in place and ultimately leads to tooth loss, gum recession, and jawbone deterioration.
Gum Disease and Your Health
Periodontal disease doesn’t just affect your smile. The condition also has serious implications for your smile. Recent studies have suggested a link between gum disease and increased risk of heart disease, stroke, and heart attack. In patients with diabetes, gum disease has been shown to exacerbate symptoms by elevating blood sugar for longer periods of time. For pregnant women, gum disease during pregnancy has been tied to premature delivery and low birth weight.
With these consequences in mind, it is imperative that when patients notice the following symptoms, they visit our dentist in Chicago for an examination.
- Gum discoloration from healthy pink to bright red
- Bleeding gums when flossing or brushing
- Teeth appear too long
- Gums are especially tender or sensitive
- Persistent bad breath or taste
- Loose teeth
Treating Gum Disease in Chicago
As gum disease can affect all aspects of your life, it’s critical that patients seek treatment as soon as their smile shows signs of infection. While our Chicago dentist is often able to reverse the symptoms and consequences of early stage gum disease (gingivitis), the longer patients postpone treatment, the more care they will require.
For cases of mild to moderate gum disease, our Chicago dentist usually recommends prophylaxis, or deep cleaning to remove bacteria and infected tissue from hard to reach places in the smile. Often, root planing and scaling is also included in this treatment to help prevent bacteria from sticking to tooth roots or within periodontal pockets. Once this process is complete, our dentist may place slow-release antibiotics in the periodontal pockets or below the gumline to destroy any remaining bacteria.
In cases of severe periodontitis, Dr. Ogbara will often coordinate care and restorative treatment with a local periodontist. Often, these patients require more invasive treatment, such as gum surgery, bone grafting, or gingival flap surgery in order to clear out infection and reduce the risk of reinfection.
Once the infection has been cleared, patients with advanced periodontitis often require some form of restorative treatment to regain oral health and function. In addition to traditional bridges and dentures, Dr. Ogbara offers dental implants and implant supported treatments to help individuals regain full dental functionality.