The gums play a critical role in oral health. Gums weakened by disease can no longer support the teeth and may spread infection and disease to the rest of the mouth and the whole body. Our Winnetka dentist at White Smiles Dental Group helps our patients prevent gum disease and whenever it does occur has treatment options to help cure the gums before the disease can affect the teeth and jaw.
According to our Winnetka dentist, gums are meant to fit very snugly around the base of each tooth and support the tooth as well as cover the roots to protect them. Gum disease starts when sticky bacteria carrying plaque and harder tartar collect around the base of the teeth. As the bacteria grow and begin to infect the gums they start to detach from the tooth forming a pocket between the tooth and gums. This is the beginning of the most common form of gum disease gingivitis. As the gingivitis worsens the pocket gets deeper giving the bacteria a safe place to multiple. Eventually the gum will become so detached from the tooth that the tooth will become unstable and may be lost. Severe gum disease can reach all the way down under the surface of the gum and also cause loss of bone in the jaw. Symptoms of gum disease depending on the severity include swelling of the gums, pain, bleeding in the gums and loosening teeth.
Our Winnetka dentist has treatment options for dealing with gum disease. Mild gum disease can usually be mitigated by routine dental and gum cleanings, where the tartar and plague is scraped away. For moderate cases a procedure called scaling and root planning is done where the doctor will clean away all the plaque, tartar and bacteria and then smooth out the roots of the teeth. For severe cases gum surgery may be necessary where our doctor cleans out the debris and bacteria from deep inside the pockets and then brings the pockets back up to the teeth and reattaches them. Don’t wait see our doctor to determine if gingivitis is attacking your gums.