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Posts for category: Periodontal Treatment

Elkhart periodontal treatmentOur gums often go overlooked. They don't play as prominent a role in our smiles as our pearly whites, and are usually hidden behind our lips. But when you take a second to consider all that your gums accomplish, their true importance becomes clear. The fact of the matter is, without healthy gums, there's no chance of healthy teeth. Periodontal disease is the number one cause of tooth loss, and avoiding it is the surest way to build a long-lasting smile.

Current research is showing a surprising trend, building the case for a mouth-body connection that scientists have suspected for years. Studies show that periodontal health may actually be linked to systemic health. What does this mean for us as dental patients? It's more important than ever to keep an eye on our gums, and take fast action if we notice inflammation. Pick up a few tips so that you can stay informed and know when to visit our Elkhart dentist for help.

Signs of Gingivitis

Gingivitis is the first stage of gum disease, and refers to the inflammation of the gums. When the soft tissues in your mouth become inflamed, they're at a heightened risk of infection and damage. Gingivitis takes hold when your oral hygiene isn't removing plaque the way it should. Bacteria then builds up at the gum line, irritating your surrounding teeth and gums.

You may be approaching gum disease if you notice the following symptoms:

  • Reddened gums
  • Swollen gums
  • Tender gums or teeth
  • Receding gum line
  • Puffiness at the gum line
  • Bad breath that won't go away
  • Gums that bleed when touched or during oral hygiene

If you notice that your gums are changing, it's always a good idea to schedule a dental exam. But before you visit our office, get started on your own gum disease crusade by kicking your brushing and flossin gup a notch. Not usually a flosser? Now is the time to start - it will help reduce inflammation andn lower your chances of developing full-blown gum disease.

Get in touch if you'd like to schedule an exam, or get answers to any of your gum-related questions!

Elkhart Periodontal Treatment | Elkhart Dentist | Periodontal Treatment Elkhart

Elkhart periodontal treatmentPeriodontal disease is one of the most frightening villains of the dental world. This infection of the gums can lead to massive changes in your smile and oral health, and even tooth loss. When it comes to periodontitis, the best plan is total prevention. How can you fine-tune your oral hygiene and spot the warning signs? By getting educated. Read on for some periodontal tips and tricks.

Why Watch for Periodontal Disease? Elkhart Dentist Responds

As we mentioned in the introduction, periodontal disease can be a savage beast. The full extent of its damage can include the loss of one or more teeth, and destruction of the jaw bone. Periodontal disease is not only harmful, it's downright sinister. The disease can be hard to spot in its early stages, during which time it will wreak havoc on your teeth and gums. Learning how to tell whether disease is creeping in will keep you on the offensive.

Early Signs of Gum Infection

Gingivitis is the first phase of gum disease, and it is gum inflammation. Inflammation is fairly simple to spot, but it's not a tell unless it's accompanied by some other symptoms. It's also incredibly common - over 50% of the American adult population has gingivitis. If you notice that your gums are swollen, check for these other symptoms:

  • Red or purple tissue
  • Gums that bleed when touched or brushed
  • Pain ranging from dull to sharp, emanating from your teeth or gums
  • Spaces forming between teeth and gums
  • Receding or changing gum line
  • Loose-feeling teeth that have separated from gums
  • A changing bite
  • Pus or sores in the mouth
  • Persistent bad breath

Early detection of gum disease is so beneficial to the patient's outcome. A recent study has posited a way to predict gum disease severity based on the patient's genetics. This could indicate when more aggressive treatment is the best course of action, even before disease has caused significant damage to the jaw bone. This level of prevention is what we hope for in every patient's case. Staying vigilant and paying attention to what your gums are telling you will allow you to stop gum disease in its tracks.

Are You High-Risk When It Comes to Gum Disease?

Elkhart periodontal care

Higher-risk patients will need to take extra precautions. While your genetic makeup can leave you more susceptible to infection, it's not the top offender; in fact, the worst risk factor is completely preventable. It's tobacco use. Smokers and tobacco chewers have a much higher chance of developing gum disease, and of seeing serious changes to their teeth and gums. Kicking the tobacco habit will benefit both your mouth and your entire body.

The primary cause of gum disease is poor oral hygiene. Like tobacco use, it's also entirely preventable. Simply embrace your brushing and flossing to see healthy gums today and well into the future. Flossing is especially important, as it reaches areas of the mouth that your toothbrush can't access (and removes bacteria from the gum line). If you are predisposed toward gum disease, adding a mouthwash to your hygiene regimen is a wise plan.

Seeing your dentist often is another good one. Schedule your next dental exam today to ensure your gums are healthy and happy.

Elkhart Periodontal Disease | Elkhart Periodontal Treatment | Elkhart Gum Disease Treatment

Elkhart periodontal treatmentWhen was the last time you really paid attention to your gums? They may be wanting some TLC! Our gums aren't as prominent as our teeth, so they can be overlooked. But their health is a key part of your beautiful smile. And by keeping your gums in great shape, you ensure that they support your healthy teeth for years to come. Read on for some warning signs of ailing gums, as well as steps you can take at home and in our office to repair them.

How Gums Become Damaged

For many patients, tooth damage makes more sense than gum damage. Because your enamel is hard and can't repair itself, it requires outside help when it cracks, breaks, or wears down. But your gums are subject to many of the same forces as your teeth, and they can suffer similar damages. Some of the most common causes of an altered gum line include

  • Tooth grinding - Grinding your teeth is a bad habit for many reasons, and it does untold damage to your teeth. Your gums suffer as well. The repeat pressure and wear leads to gum recession, wherein your gum line descends. This shows more tooth and less gum, and can change the balanced appearance of your smile. Receding gums also expose your tooth roots, which can be highly sensitive and also yellow in color.
  • Periodontal disease - Gum disease destroys both teeth and gums. The major way it alters your gum line is by giving rise to periodontal pockets, bacteria-filled areas between your teeth and gums. The bacteria present in these pockets eats away at tooth and gum tissues, disintegrating your gums.
  • Dry mouth - When there's not enough saliva present in your mouth, your oral tissues suffer. Your gums need that moisture to stay healthy and strong. Dry mouth irritates the gums and makes it easier for gingivitis to take hold. Your gums will look puffy, and may begin to recede.

If one of these issues has already taken hold of your mouth, there are restorative steps you can take at Elkhart Dental Center. We'll return your gums to health comfortably and efficiently.

Elkhart Periodontal Treatment

Elkhart periodontal disease

Periodontal disease is a dangerous ailment that can consume your mouth and smile. By taking action as soon as problems arise, we're able to minimize the damage. If you notice a combination of the following symptoms, it's time to give us a call:

  • Red or purple gums
  • Sore gums
  • Loose teeth
  • Bleeding gums
  • Tooth pain
  • Puffy gums
  • Receding gums
  • Gums pulling away from teeth

With a combination of scaling, root planing, and antibiotics, we'll clean the area and treat disease. Dr. Lee will remain in touch with you to monitor your gums for signs of disease returning.

Rebuilding Weakened Gums

If your gums have succumbed to a periodontal problem, it's possible to turn back the effects of disease. Dr. Lee is able to rebuild your gums and tailor your gum line using treatments such as 

  • Gum grafts - After periodontal disease has ravaged your mouth, it's likely that your gum line has changed. Tender tooth roots may be exposed, and the tooth-gum display balance may be off. A gum graft will add healthy tissue to the gum line, making it a permanent part of the lacking area. A small portion of healthy gum tissue will be taken from elsewhere in your mouth and placed at the treatment site. Once healed, it will look like a natural part of your smile.
  • Gum contouring - Your gums may not look exactly the way you would like them to. It's time to make some minor tweaks to the gum line. Contouring will create a smile with which you're thoroughly pleased.