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Posts for tag: gum disease

By Douglas Pennino, DDS
December 02, 2016
Category: Oral Health
Tags: gum disease  

Have you just recently been diagnosed with gum disease? Discover your treatment options.

If one of our Barrington, IL family dentists, Drs. Douglas or Chase Pennino, just recently told you that you have gum disease you may be gum diseasea little taken aback. After all, you brush and floss regularly and your smile never showed symptoms of distress. Unfortunately, gum disease can sneak up without even knowing it, which is why your six-month cleanings are so important to keep up with. If you have gum disease, find out how to treat the issue for good.

Lifestyle Changes

This is one of the easiest things you can do to improve the health of your gums. While it won’t be the only treatment you will need, making changes to your oral care routine can go a long way to improving your oral health.

Since plaque buildup is the main cause of gum disease, it’s important to be able to remove it all from your teeth and gums. By brushing more thoroughly, changing your diet to reduce the amount of sugar and processed carbs you consume and by quitting smoking you can reduce the buildup of plaque and also be better equipped to remove it.

Removing Tartar

When plaque doesn’t get removed it turns to tartar within a couple days. Tartar can’t be removed with your at-home toothbrush. Only our Barrington dentist will be able to remove it. For those who have gum disease, we will perform scaling and root planing, in which we use special manual and ultrasonic tools to remove tartar from the teeth and below the gum line. We even smooth out the roots of the teeth to make the environment less hospitable for bacteria to buildup.

This procedure is performed under local anesthesia right here in our office. Scaling and root planing is one of the most effective ways to treat gum disease and is usually our first treatment option we offer.

Pennino Family Dentistry in Barrington, IL is here to make sure that you have healthy teeth and gums for the rest of your life. We know you can hit snags along the way but we are dedicated to giving you the specialized dental care you deserve every time you step through our doors. If you need to schedule an appointment with us, call our office today.

By Douglas Pennino, DDS
September 15, 2016
Category: Oral Health

Are bleeding gums something you should be concerned about? Dear Doctor magazine recently posed that question to Dr. Travis Stork, an emergency room physician and host of the syndicated TV show The Doctors. He answered with two questions of his own: “If you started bleeding from your eyeball, would you seek medical attention?” Needless to say, most everyone would. “So,” he asked, “why is it that when we bleed all the time when we floss that we think it’s no big deal?” As it turns out, that’s an excellent question — and one that’s often misunderstood.

First of all, let’s clarify what we mean by “bleeding all the time.” As many as 90 percent of people occasionally experience bleeding gums when they clean their teeth — particularly if they don’t do it often, or are just starting a flossing routine. But if your gums bleed regularly when you brush or floss, it almost certainly means there’s a problem. Many think bleeding gums is a sign they are brushing too hard; this is possible, but unlikely. It’s much more probable that irritated and bleeding gums are a sign of periodontal (gum) disease.

How common is this malady? According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, nearly half of all  Americans over age 30 have mild, moderate or severe gum disease — and that number increases to 70.1 percent for those over 65! Periodontal disease can occur when a bacteria-rich biofilm in the mouth (also called plaque) is allowed to build up on tooth and gum surfaces. Plaque causes the gums to become inflamed, as the immune system responds to the bacteria. Eventually, this can cause gum tissue to pull away from the teeth, forming bacteria-filled “pockets” under the gum surface. If left untreated, it can lead to more serious infection, and even tooth loss.

What should you do if your gums bleed regularly when brushing or flossing? The first step is to come in for a thorough examination. In combination with a regular oral exam (and possibly x-rays or other diagnostic tests), a simple (and painless) instrument called a periodontal probe can be used to determine how far any periodontal disease may have progressed. Armed with this information, we can determine the most effective way to fight the battle against gum disease.

Above all, don’t wait too long to come in for an exam! As Dr. Stork notes, bleeding gums are “a sign that things aren’t quite right.”  If you would like more information about bleeding gums, please contact us or schedule an appointment. You can read more in the Dear Doctor magazine article “Bleeding Gums.” You can read the entire interview with Dr. Travis Stork in Dear Doctor magazine.