Answering Gum Disease Questions
Whether your gum disease is common gingivitis or a complex advanced periodontitis, you have questions and fears. We have the answers. Knowledge is power and the more we can educate you about your condition, the more comfortable you will become as a patient. Allow us to empower you , relax you and treat you properly.
What is periodontal disease?
Periodontal disease, or gum disease, is a bacterial infection that damages the gums and supporting bone. If left untreated it can lead to tooth loss and a bacteremia (bacteria invading the blood stream). This oral-systemic relationship places individuals at risk for serious health concerns related to heart health, various forms of cancer, metabolic health, dementia and potential challenges with a healthy pregnancy, Norwood Park Periodontics is an industry leader in both surgical and non-surgical treatment modalities. Click here to learn about treatment options.
How do I know if I have periodontal disease?
Signs of periodontal disease include swollen or bleeding gums, bad breath, sensitive gums or root surfaces and mobile teeth. Unfortunately, periodontal disease is not always obvious. The bacterial infection may be silently and progressively destroying the supporting structures of the teeth, without any signs or symptoms. Moreover, the systemic aspects of periodontal disease are often eliciting chronic inflammatory challenges without warning. Norwood Park Periodontics takes a “whole body” approach when developing your custom treatment plan.
How did I develop periodontal disease?
There are two factors, causative and contributing factors that lead to developing periodontal disease. The causative factor is the bacteria or “plaque” that forms in your mouth. The contributing factors include poor oral hygiene, stress, certain medical conditions, medications, tobacco use, poor diet, clenching or grinding, genetics and familial tendencies. During your comprehensive consultation all factors will be evaluated and a custom treatment plan will be developed to treat your specific needs.
Is periodontal disease contagious?
No, periodontal disease is not contagious but is can be cross contaminated. Unlike an airborne or surface adherent pathogen like influenza, periodontal disease cannot be spread through the air or direct contact. The primary mode of transmission is saliva. Habits like sharing a spoon, cup or kissing can transfer the bacteria from one mouth to another; this is defined as cross-contamination. Norwood Park periodontics will be able to identify the specific causative bacteria as well as provide products and services to reduce the risk of cross-contamination.
How do I treat my periodontal disease?
In most cases we will recommend a non-surgical approach as the initial mode of treatment. This includes the utilization of ultrasonic and hand scalers, glycine powder biofilm disruption, lasers that reduce the bacteria and stimulate your body’s repair mechanism, localized or systemic antibiotics, and home products designed to support your body’s repair mechanism.
After the completion of your non-surgical therapy, we will evaluate the need for surgical procedures designed to regenerate and rebuild lost structures. In the most severe cases, teeth may not be salvageable. In those rare cases we focus on regaining what was lost by placing dental implants. Regardless of the severity of your case, Norwood Park Periodontics offers state-of-the-art treatments aimed at whole body health.
Is periodontal disease curable?
Unfortunately, no. Because we cannot completely eliminate the bacteria from your mouth nor stop the inflammatory process, periodontal disease is not curable. HOWEVER, we are very successful at controlling the condition and reducing the risk of advancing the disease. Norwood Park Periodontics will work with you and your general dentist to create a custom maintenance plan to keep you mouth and body as stable as possible.