Do you know if your gums are healthy? Gum disease is called a “silent disease” because it can develop and progress relatively unnoticed until significant dental problems begin to surface. Routine dental care is essential for maintaining gum health for a lifetime.
During regular dental care visits, we screen for early warning signs of gum disease. When caught early, we can often restore your oral health and halt the progression of gum disease with conservative measures. Dr. Gayed and Dr. Shaw provide dental care that is focused on the individual patient. We work with you to manage chronic gum disease concerns and offer advice on keeping your gums healthy between visits.
Gum Disease: what are the signs?
The early signs of gum disease can be subtle. Being aware of what to look for and when to seek dental care and advice can help you avoid complex problems. Common signs of developing gum disease or gingivitis can include:
- Bleeding gums: do you see blood in the sink when brushing or flossing your teeth?
- Red or swollen gums: gum tissue that appears red or signs of swelling along the gum line can indicate a growing infection.
- Persistent bad breath: halitosis, or bad breath that seems to be persisting, can be a sign of gingivitis.
- Changes in the fit of the bite or tooth position: this is more characteristic of advanced gum disease or periodontitis. As the gum tissue is compromised, the teeth can shift and affect how they make contact when biting.
- Pockets around tooth roots: does it appear that the teeth are being more exposed? The deteriorating gum tissue will create pockets around the tooth roots and may lead to an abscess.
The Importance of Gum Health
The health and stability of the teeth depend on stable and healthy gums. Gum tissue supports and nourishes the tooth roots, helping to maintain your natural bite and your overall oral health. Gum disease can create complex problems for your smile if left untreated.
It can also affect your physical wellness, increasing the risk for other conditions related to internal inflammation. When pockets form around tooth roots and the gums are significantly compromised, harmful bacteria in the mouth can enter the bloodstream. This can impact your immune system and lead to an inflammatory response. Poor oral health is associated with increased cardiovascular and systemic disease risk.
Conversely, existing medical conditions and diseases such as diabetes can affect gum health and increase your risk of developing oral health concerns. Routine dental care visits allow us to develop a relationship with you and better understand your risk factors for dental problems like gum disease. If you have a medical condition or take a prescribed medication daily, let us know so that we can ensure there is no impact on your dental health.
Treating Gum Disease in Lincoln Park, Chicago
Dr. Gayed and Dr. Shaw offer periodontal treatment options to address the stage and severity of gum disease. After evaluating the condition of your gums and discussing any symptoms you are having, we will recommend the appropriate treatment.
Conservative treatment options include using anti-bacterial rinses as part of your daily oral hygiene routine. For more advanced disease or infection, we may perform a scaling and root planing procedure during your visit. This is an intensive cleaning that removes plaque hardened onto tooth roots and along the gum line.
If you have periodontitis and significant damage to gum tissue, we may coordinate care with a local specialist to resolve symptoms and restore gum health.