The term periodontal means “around the tooth.” Periodontal or gum disease is a condition that affects the soft tissues that surround and support a tooth, and even the jawbone in advanced stages. Gum disease is one of the leading causes of tooth loss in adults and should always be promptly treated.
Periodontal disease often begins as swelling and irritation of the gums due to excessive buildup of plaque and tartar, causing a bacterial infection. This causes the gums to detach from the teeth, forming pockets where the infection colonizes. Periodontal infection is a progressive condition which can ultimately lead to the destruction of the connective tissue and jawbone. If left untreated, it can lead to loose teeth, shifting teeth, and eventually tooth loss.
At the office of Washington Dental Care, we give high priority to the health of your periodontal structures and offer comprehensive treatments for issues associated with the periodontium.
- Scaling and root planing – In order to preserve the health of the gum tissue, the bacteria and tartar which initially caused the infection must be removed. This involves cleaning the gum pockets and treating them with antibiotics to help control the infection followed by smoothing of the root surface to prevent reinfection.
- Regenerative Procedures: When the gum and bone are destroyed due to periodontitis, regrowth can be actively encouraged with the use of grafting procedures. A membrane may be inserted into the affected areas to aid in the regeneration process.
- Pocket Reduction: Pocket reduction (or flap surgery/osseous surgery) is a surgical procedure which is done to reduce the depth of the pockets created between the gums and teeth.
- Dental Crown Lengthening/ Gingivectomy: Crown lengthening involves pulling the gums away from the teeth to remove infection-causing bacteria and expose more of the tooth structure.
- Ridge Preservation: Ridge preservation is done after extracting a tooth to preserve the jawbone at the extraction site. This can make it possible to eventually place an implant at the site.
- Bone Grafting: Bone grafting involves insertion of real or artificial bone material into the jawbone to enhance bone density which may have been lost due to tooth loss or gum disease. This is done with the goal of creating enough healthy bone to support a dental implant.
For more information, please call our practice at (312) 819-8488. We are conveniently located at 1229 W. Washington Boulevard #100, Chicago, IL 60607.