It’s easy to overlook the health of your gums when your teeth get all the attention, but gum disease is actually the leading cause of tooth loss amongst adults, and you might not even realize you have it until it’s too late. Maja Simic, DDS, at Smile Dental Studio Glenview in Glenview, Illinois, is an expert in diagnosing and treating gum disease and can keep your smile healthy by helping you fight gum disease. To learn more, call the office or schedule an appointment online.
Gum disease is a bacterial infection of your gum tissue that frequently leads to tooth loss if left untreated.
It’s caused by a buildup of plaque and tartar on the surfaces of your teeth. Plaque naturally forms on your teeth when the bacteria in your mouth react with the sugars and starches in your food. You can easily remove plaque at home by brushing and flossing, but if it sits on your teeth for too long, it hardens and becomes tartar, which requires a professional cleaning to eliminate.
Both plaque and tartar are full of bacteria and acids that irritate your gums. That prolonged irritation is the root cause of gum disease.
Some of the symptoms of gum disease include:
The symptoms of gum disease are known to develop “silently,” however. Many people don’t even notice that they’re presenting symptoms until the disease is already in its later stages.
Dr. Simic is trained to recognize gum disease in its earliest stages, and can more easily reverse its progression if she catches it early on. It’s incredibly important to maintain regular checkups and cleanings with Dr. Simic so that she can more closely monitor the health of your gums.
Gum disease occurs in two stages:
Gingivitis is the earliest stage of gum disease. In it, the plaque and tartar in your teeth have just begun to irritate your gum tissue, and your gums respond by getting swollen, inflamed, and sometimes bleeding when you brush or floss. No lasting damage has been done to your gums, though, and the effects are entirely reversible with improved at-home care and a few professional cleanings with Dr. Simic.
If left untreated, gingivitis develops into periodontitis. In periodontitis, your gums become so irritated by plaque and tartar that they begin to pull away from your teeth and recede. This creates “pockets” between your teeth and gums that are highly susceptible to collecting debris and bacteria, which further irritates your gums, causing more recession and deeper pockets. This cycle continues until the structures holding your teeth in place erode, leading to tooth loss.
There are a number of safe and effective ways to treat gum disease. In its earlier stages, Dr. Simic can reverse your gum disease with simple professional cleanings and giving you some tips and tricks on improving your at-home brushing and flossing.
For more advanced gum disease, some effective treatments include:
To learn more about how Dr. Simic can keep your gums healthy, schedule a visit to Smile Dental Studio Glenview by calling the office or booking an appointment online.