Periodontal disease can have devastating effects. When uncontrolled, periodontal disease can lead to the loss of teeth and bone. The condition also appears to have some relationship with other systemic issues, like diabetes and heart disease.

Oral bacteria found in plaque and tartar is at the root of periodontal disease. When these bacteria collect in the mouth, they attack the gum tissue, causing inflammation. This may necessitate a trip to see a periodontist who specializes in diagnosing and treating diseases of the gums.

Fortunately, this condition can be prevented when patients are able to control the amount of bacteria found in their mouths. To do so, patients should follow a strict at-home oral hygiene routine involving twice-daily brushing, daily flossing, and regular visits to the dentist for thorough cleanings.

The periodontist may make additional preventative recommendations to certain patients. For example, reducing the risk of periodontal disease is yet another motivating factor for patients trying to kick a smoking habit.

Periodontal disease emerges in progressive stages. The mildest form of the condition is gingivitis, in which the gums become red and swollen. A patient with gingivitis may also notice that the gums bleed during brushing or flossing.

Periodontitis, in which pockets begin to appear in the gums and teeth may become loose, is the next phase. If left untreated, it can evolve into advanced periodontal disease, compromising the teeth and jawbone.

Treatment for periodontal disease depends on its stage. Gingivitis can typically be addressed with a cleaning, while periodontitis warrants a more intensive intervention. When pockets have developed in the gums, a periodontist will perform a scaling and root planing to clear the bacteria from those pockets.

Periodontal surgery, in which the periodontist makes an incision in the gums to get better access to the surfaces underneath, may be necessary in severe cases.

Even if you have already developed periodontal disease, you can and should take steps to reduce the likelihood of a recurrence. For many patients, treatment is a signal that they need to be more serious about their at-home oral hygiene regimen.

Consult with our periodontist to learn how you can prevent periodontal disease, or a flare-up of the condition. The office of Dr. Dorothy Anasinski serves the area of Park Ridge IL. Call 847-685-6686 today!