Dental Blog

Posts for: April, 2014

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 restorative dentistryIs your smile missing some bits and pieces, an entire tooth, or even more? No matter its state, restorative dentistry can make a significant difference - to both your teeth and your entire life. Rebuilding weakened or damaged teeth will improve your oral health, tooth function, confidence, and daily comfort. If you're unsure about the prospect of treatment, don't hold back any longer. We look forward to guiding you through the restorative process at Elkhart Dental Center.

Restorative Dental Treatment in Elkhart, IN

Restorative dentistry takes both your smile's appearance and health into account. The treatments will bolster your tooth strength, and remake your smile to rejuvenate your appearance. Depending on your case, more than one restorative treatment may be necessary. Dr. Sangyoung Lee will discuss your options with you to decide what will be best for your oral health and your needs.

Preparing for Restorative Dentistry

Elkhart restorative dentist

Before receiving dental restorations, you will need to go through the following steps:

  1. Research - It's important to do some of your own research about your restorative options. Spend some time on our website and other websites from the American Dental Association and other dental organizations. Once you understand what's available to you, and what the different procedures entail, you'll be better-equipped to have an in-depth conversation with Dr. Lee. Study up before your consultation to learn more about restorative treatments!
  2. Consultation - Your consultation is a chance for you to talk to Dr. Lee about any questions or concerns you may have. Dr. Lee will take x-rays, examine your mouth and jaws, study your dental history, and develop a treatment plan that accommodates your needs. During your consultation, Dr. Lee will lay out his professional recommendations for the best restorative path.
  3. Preparatory treatments - Depending on your oral health, there may be preparatory steps to take before restoration placement. If you are seeking dental implants but have been missing teeth for some time, it's likely that the jaw bone has resorbed and will need a bone graft. If you have cavities or periodontal disease, those will need to be treated and healed. If you are getting crowns or bridges, the natural teeth will need to be prepared in order for those restorations to fit into place. Dr. Lee will provide any necessary preparatory care to get you ready for the full course of restorative treatment.

Dental Restorations and Treatment Options

  • Crowns - Dental crowns rebuild teeth that have become worn or damaged. Once they are restored, the natural teeth will function properly and prevail. Crowns are an excellent way to restore teeth that won't be able to survive on their own.
  • Bridges - Bridges combine crowns with false teeth to replace ones that you may have lost. A bridge fits a pontic (false tooth) into the gap left behind, fixing it in place.
  • Partials - Partial dentures replace spans of missing teeth. They are commonly removable, allowing for easy cleaning.
  • Periodontal Treatment - Periodontal treatment will heal gum disease and return your gum line to health. With the aid of specialized antibiotics, as well as scaling and root planing, Dr. Lee will rid your gums of disease.
  • Dental Implants - Dental implants replace missing tooth roots. These titanium screws sit in the jaw bone, where they eventually form a connection with that bone. Restorations can then be placed atop the implants for support.
  • Dentures - Dentures replace entire mouthfuls of missing teeth - both comfortably and with great function.

Ready to learn more about restorative treatment? Get in touch with our office to start talking about your rehabilitated smile!

Elkhart Restorative Dentist | Elkhart Restorative Dentistry | Elkhart Restorative Dental Treatment