Monthly Archives: May 2013

Warning Signs of Gum Disease

gum disease.

Do you frequently experience bleeding gums during your daily brushing routine? You might assume that you are brushing too hard and that this bleeding is normal. However, you should know that any bleeding of gum tissue is abnormal and should be considered a potential sign of gum disease.

Gum tissues usually bleed because of dental plaque buildup from poor oral hygiene practices. When the plaque is left around the gum line for a long period of time, 24 hours or more, the gum tissues respond by becoming inflamed — this can quickly become a chronic inflammation.

Here are some other warning signs of gum disease:

  1. Bad Breath. Bad breath is one of the most common signs of gum disease. This is especially true for those who do not floss, because plaque collects in the protected areas between the teeth making them especially prone to gum inflammation. This plaque often produces a pungent smell that causes bad breath.
  2. Red or Sensitive Gums. If you look closely in the mirror, you might see redness of the gums. It may also seem as if your gums are swollen, and in more advanced cases, this can lead to receding gums. Finally, you might notice gum sensitivity when you brush or a sensitivity to hot and cold.
  3. Tooth Loss. If this disease goes untreated, over time, bone loss will cause loose teeth, movement or migration of the teeth into a new and unstable position, and ultimately tooth loss. The rate of progression will depend upon the type of gum disease that you have.
  4. Painful Gums. Once you start to feel acute pain and extremely sore gums, this may mean you have developed a periodontal abscess. When this happens, the bacteria are walled off inside a gum “pocket,” and since your body’s defenses are overwhelmed, there is a battle between the bacteria in that pocket and your body’s defense mechanisms. The result is a collection of pus and extra bone loss. Your gums will be sore, swollen, red and may even discharge pus.

As you can see, the further the disease progresses, the greater the amount of pain and damage that will occur. Gum disease is also link to heart health, click here  to learn how to reduce your health risks. Therefore, upon the first sign of gum disease, such as bleeding gums, you should schedule an appointment with us immediately.

If you would like more information about gum disease, please contact us by calling (815) 741-1700. You can also learn more by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Warning Signs of Gum Disease.”


Five Reasons to Choose Dental Implants

dental implants.

If a missing tooth is preventing you from feeling confident about your smile and even making chewing more difficult, then you may be interested in dental implants. Considered one of modern dentistry’s best options for replacing missing teeth, dental implants are best explained by first picturing a natural tooth.

A natural tooth has two main parts: the crown, which is the part you see in the mouth above the gum line; and the root, which is inside the bone. A dental implant permanently replaces the root part of the tooth with a special metal insert that is placed in the jawbone with minor surgery. A crown restoration is then placed on top of the implant. Click here to see a video of how dental implants are placed.

Here are a few reasons why you might want to consider dental implants:

  1. Authenticity. Dental implants look and feel just like your natural teeth. The reason is that the titanium of which dental implants are made has the unique ability to fuse with living bone.
  2. Durability. Because implants are made from titanium and can last a lifetime as they join to the bone through a process called osseo-integration, they are very durable. Titanium will not decay and the non-porous surface resists tartar formation, allowing implants to be relatively free from gum disease.
  3. Preservation. Tooth loss is usually followed by loss of bone in the jaw, which can lead to problems with your bite and potentially to permanent changes in your facial appearance. However, when you choose to get a dental implant, you’re choosing an option that helps prevent further loss of bone.
  4. Versatility. Dental implants can be used in a variety of ways to replace missing teeth, including replacing a single tooth, multiple teeth and even all of your teeth. Implants can also be used to support a permanent or removable denture.
  5. Reliability. Documented research shows success rates of more than 95% — the highest of any tooth-replacement option. Even in areas of low bone density, success is very common.

If you would like more information about dental implants, please contact us by calling (815) 741-1700 to schedule an appointment or request your consultation online. You can also learn more by reading “Dental Implants: Your Best Option for Replacing Missing Teeth.”