When it comes to your oral health, nothing should be left to chance. At Lakeview Smiles in Chicago, IL, we believe that attaining a healthy smile means more than having a beautiful set of teeth—it’s also about ensuring the well-being of the gum tissues that hold those teeth in place.
Gum health is crucial to your overall oral hygiene, yet it’s often overlooked. We’re here to change that and ensure your gums receive the care they need.
What Is Gum Disease?
Gum disease, also known as periodontal disease, is a serious oral health issue characterized by inflammation and infection of the gums and surrounding tissues that support your teeth. It is primarily caused by the build-up of plaque, a sticky layer of bacteria that can harden into tartar if not removed through regular brushing and flossing. Gum disease progresses in three stages: gingivitis, periodontitis, and advanced periodontitis.
- Gingivitis is the initial stage of gum disease, and it is characterized by redness, swelling, and bleeding of the gums.
- Left untreated, it can progress to periodontitis, where pockets in your gums form that allow bacteria, food particles, and plaque to become trapped against the tooth roots. These pockets become deeper over time, which weakens the bone that supports your teeth, eventually leading to tooth loss.
- Advanced periodontitis is the most severe form of gum disease and involves an irreversible destruction of the bone that supports your teeth, as well as the deepening of the gum pockets. This stage can cause significant damage to your oral health, including extensive tooth loss.
How Is Gum Disease Diagnosed?
Our expert dental team at Lakeview Smiles is highly experienced in diagnosing gum disease. The process usually begins with a thorough oral examination where your dental professional checks the color and firmness of your gums, the alignment of your teeth, and whether any teeth are loose. We may also use a small instrument called a periodontal probe to measure the depth of the pockets around your teeth. An x-ray may also be necessary to check for bone loss in areas where our team suspects periodontal disease.
How Is Gum Disease Treated?
Scaling & Root Planing
Scaling and root planing is the initial and most common treatment for gum disease. Scaling is a deep cleaning procedure that removes plaque and tartar buildup both above and below the gum line. Root planing smoothens the root surfaces, deterring bacteria and toxins, promoting gum healing, and helping to prevent disease progression.
Pocket Depth Reduction
When the gum pockets are too deep, scaling and root planing might not be sufficient. In this case, we may recommend pocket depth reduction, a surgical procedure that involves lifting back the gums to remove the deep-seated infection, then securing the gum tissue into place to reduce the pocket-size and make it easier for you and your dentist to maintain hygiene.
Bone & Tissue Regeneration
In advanced cases, gum disease can cause damage to the bone that supports your teeth. At Lakeview Smiles, we utilize advanced techniques for bone and tissue regeneration. This process typically involves the use of grafting materials to stimulate your body’s natural ability to regenerate bone and tissue, restoring strength and structure to your smile.
Soft Tissue Graft
A soft tissue graft is used to cover exposed roots, reduce further gum recession, and improve the aesthetics of your gum line. The graft may be sourced from another part of your mouth or donor tissue. This procedure can not only improve the health and function of your gums but also enhance the appearance of your smile.
Maintaining Gum Health
While we offer an extensive range of treatments for gum disease, prevention is always better than cure. Regular professional cleanings, daily brushing and flossing, and a balanced diet can keep your gums healthy and disease-free. Additionally, regular dental check-ups allow us to catch potential issues early, maintaining optimal oral health.
Your Reliable Partner For Healthy Gums
At Lakeview Smiles, we offer more than just treatments—we offer a seamless experience aimed at making you feel comfortable and confident. Your gum health is in reliable hands with our dedicated team of dental professionals who not only have the skills but also the compassion to give you the best possible care.
Choosing Lakeview Smiles is choosing a lifetime of healthy smiles. Book an appointment today, and let us support your fight against gum disease. Call today!