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What Is Periodontal Disease
Glenview, IL

Oral diseases pose a significant threat to our overall health and well-being, with periodontal disease standing out as one of the most prevalent and potentially severe conditions. Often underestimated, periodontal disease affects the gums and surrounding tissues that support our teeth, leading to discomfort, tooth loss, and even systemic health issues if left unchecked.

Understanding Periodontal Disease

Periodontal disease, also known as gum disease, is a chronic inflammatory condition that affects the gums and supporting structures of the teeth. It originates from the plaque, which is a film of bacteria that coats the teeth. If not effectively removed through routine brushing and flossing, plaque can mineralize into tartar, a hardened substance that requires professional dental intervention for removal.

As tartar builds up along the gumline, it irritates the gums, leading to gingivitis. Gingivitis marks the first stage of periodontal disease. It's identified by common signs such as gums appearing red, swollen, and prone to bleeding while brushing or flossing. If left untreated, gingivitis can progress to periodontitis, a more severe form of the disease.

Periodontitis involves the destruction of the tissues and bones that support the teeth. As the gums pull away from the teeth, pockets form between the teeth and gums, creating an ideal environment for bacteria to thrive. Over time, these pockets deepen, further promoting bacterial growth and causing the gums to recede and the teeth to become loose.

Without intervention, periodontitis can eventually lead to tooth loss. It may even impact overall health, as the bacteria from the infected gums can enter the bloodstream and contribute to systemic inflammation.

Periodontal disease is a common condition, with studies suggesting that a significant portion of the population may be affected to some degree. However, periodontal disease can easily be prevented with proper oral hygiene.

Causes and Risk Factors

The development of periodontal disease can be attributed to various causes and risk factors. One of the primary causes is the buildup of plaque, a sticky film of bacteria that forms on the teeth. When plaque isn't properly removed through regular brushing and flossing, it can solidify into tartar, leading to gum inflammation and, eventually, gum disease.

Poor oral hygiene habits are a significant risk factor for periodontal disease. Individuals who do not brush their teeth regularly or fail to floss are more susceptible to plaque buildup and gum inflammation. Smoking and the use of tobacco products can increase the risk of periodontal disease by impairing the body's ability to fight off infection and heal damaged tissue.

Certain systemic conditions, such as diabetes and autoimmune diseases, can also predispose individuals to periodontal disease. These conditions weaken the body's immune system, making it harder to combat the bacteria that cause gum disease.

Genetics can influence a person's likelihood of developing periodontal disease. Some individuals may have a genetic predisposition to gum disease, making it harder to maintain gum health despite practicing good oral hygiene.
Other risk factors for periodontal disease include poor nutrition, stress, and certain medications that reduce saliva flow or cause gum enlargement.

Signs and Symptoms

Symptoms may be mild or even unnoticeable early, making regular dental check-ups crucial for identifying gum disease. However, several common signs and symptoms may become more apparent as the condition progresses.

One of the primary signs of periodontal disease is gum inflammation, often called gingivitis. Inflamed gums may appear red, swollen, and tender to the touch. Gums affected by gingivitis may bleed during brushing or flossing, indicating the presence of gum disease.

As periodontal disease advances to more severe stages, additional symptoms may manifest. These can include persistent bad breath or a bad taste in the mouth, even after brushing and flossing. Receding gums may also occur when the gum tissue pulls away from the teeth, exposing more of the tooth's surface. Pockets may form between the teeth and gums, indicating further disease progression.

Individuals with periodontal disease may also experience changes in the way their teeth fit together when biting or chewing. Loose or shifting teeth are common symptoms of advanced periodontitis, as the supporting bone and tissues are progressively damaged.

While these signs and symptoms indicate periodontal disease, it's essential to note that not all individuals will experience them the same way. Some people may have mild symptoms or none at all, especially in the early stages of the disease. Therefore, regular dental check-ups are crucial for detecting and diagnosing periodontal disease, allowing for prompt intervention and treatment.

Diagnosis and Evaluation

Diagnosing and evaluating periodontal disease typically involves a comprehensive assessment by a dental professional. During a dental exam, the dentist or dental hygienist will carefully examine the gums and teeth, looking for signs of inflammation, bleeding, and gum recession. They may also measure the depth of any pockets that have formed between the teeth and gums using a small probe.

In addition to visual examination, dental professionals may use dental X-rays to assess the extent of bone loss and identify any other underlying issues that may contribute to periodontal disease. X-rays can help reveal areas of bone loss that are not visible during a visual examination alone, providing valuable information for treatment planning.

In some cases, dental professionals may also perform additional diagnostic tests, such as a periodontal screening or comprehensive periodontal evaluation, to assess the severity of periodontal disease and determine the most appropriate treatment.

Treatment Options

Treatment options for periodontal disease aim to reduce inflammation, control infection, and restore gum and bone health. The specific treatment approach may vary depending on the severity of the disease and individual patient factors. Here are some standard treatment options:

Professional Dental Cleaning

The first step in treating periodontal disease is often a professional dental cleaning, also known as scaling and root planing. During this procedure, a dental hygienist or dentist will remove plaque and tartar from the teeth and root surfaces below the gum line, smoothing out rough areas to prevent bacteria from reattaching.


Medications may sometimes be prescribed to help control infection and reduce inflammation. Antibiotics may be prescribed in pill form or as a mouth rinse to target bacteria associated with periodontal disease. Antiseptic mouthwashes or gels may also be recommended to help reduce plaque and bacteria.

Lifestyle Changes

Making lifestyle changes, such as quitting smoking and improving oral hygiene habits, can play a significant role in treating and preventing periodontal disease. Smoking cessation can help improve gum health and reduce the risk of complications associated with gum disease.

Surgical Procedures

In cases of advanced periodontal disease or when non-surgical treatments are not effective, surgical intervention may be necessary. Surgical procedures may include flap surgery, where the gums are lifted back to remove tartar and bacteria, and bone grafts or tissue regeneration procedures to help restore lost bone and gum tissue.

Ongoing Maintenance

Following treatment for periodontal disease, ongoing maintenance is essential to prevent recurrence and maintain oral health. This may include regular dental check-ups and cleanings and diligent oral hygiene practices at home, such as brushing twice a day, flossing daily, and using an antiseptic mouthwash as recommended by your dentist.

Contact Us Today!

Periodontal disease is a common but treatable condition that requires proactive management to preserve oral health and overall well-being. By understanding the causes, signs, and treatment options for gum disease, individuals can take control of their oral health and seek timely intervention when needed.

If you suspect you may have periodontal disease or have noticed any signs or symptoms, take a step towards a healthier smile by scheduling an appointment with our experienced dental professionals at Glen Perio. Our dedicated team is committed to providing personalized care and effective treatment options to address your unique needs.

To schedule your appointment or learn more about our services, please contact us today at 224-488-3392. Don't wait until it's too late – take the first step towards better oral health and schedule your appointment with Glen Perio today. Your smile deserves the best care possible, and we're here to help you achieve it.

Glen Perio

2640 Patriot Blvd. Suite 140
Glenview, IL 60026
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What Is Periodontal Disease? | Glenview, IL | Glen Perio
Glen Perio - Dr. Joshua Hassan, 2640 Patriot Blvd. Suite 140, Glenview, IL 60026 + 224-488-3392 + + 6/12/2024 + Associated Words: dental implants Glenview IL +