What Is Periodontal Disease? Everything You Need to Know

We have made significant leaps and bounds in dentistry throughout the years. However, the number of people affected by gum disease is astounding. Statistics show that in America, nearly half of people above 30 years have advanced gum disease.

Gum disease (periodontal disease) is the number one cause of tooth loss across the country.

Gum disease can affect anyone at any age since it is brought about primarily by poor oral hygiene. If it is not caught early, periodontal disease can cause serious damage to your jawbone that will lead to tooth loss.

Periodontal disease should not be taken casually, since it has been linked with other severe diseases such as heart disease and stroke. That’s why you need to engage the services of our periodontal dentist near you if you suspect that you have the disease.

In most scenarios, the disease can be prevented when you have good oral hygiene. However, if you have the disease, look at what you need to know.

Periodontal Disease, In a Capsule

Periodontal disease is one of those diseases that can catch you off guard. This is because before your teeth fall off, there is a myriad of symptoms that can easily be ignored if you don’t know them.

Gum disease (periodontitis) starts with gum inflammation, a condition known as gingivitis. If you have ever realized that your gums are bruising or bleeding easily, especially after brushing your teeth, high chances are that you have gingivitis.

Most people ignore this glaring warning sign at the onset of the disease. If you do not visit our dentist in Berwyn, IL, for treatment, then the disease progresses to periodontitis.

What causes gingivitis is the buildup of plaque, which causes your gums to become easily irritated when you brush your teeth. At this stage, you will only experience irritation and bleeding.

In the efforts of fighting the infection, your body releases specific enzymes, when combined with the toxins produced by bacteria as they digest the leftover food, causing the breakdown of connective tissue and bone. After which, the gums begin to recede, and the pockets deepen, and the teeth become loose.

When you are at this stage, then it means that you have periodontal disease.

Causes of Periodontal Disease

The leading cause of periodontal disease is plaque. However, that is not the only cause of gum disease. Other causes of periodontal disease are:

  • Hormonal changes which happen during puberty or pregnancy
  • Certain medications that lessen the production of saliva such as anticonvulsants and anti-angina drugs
  • Smoking
  • Family history of gum disease
  • Common Symptoms

As mentioned earlier, gum disease can go unnoticed for some time. The signs can be there, but most people don’t think much of it. However, lookout for the following symptoms:

  • Halitosis (persistent bad breath)
  • Bad taste in the mouth
  • Gums that easily bleed after brushing your teeth
  • Receding gums
  • Loose teeth
  • Formation of deep pockets between your gums and teeth


For our dentist in Berwyn, IL, to determine whether you have periodontitis, the following might be done:

  • Checking your family history
  • Measurement of the pocket depth will be taken
  • Examine your mouth for tartar and plaque buildup
  • Take dental X-rays to check your jawbone


Typically, the periodontal dentist near you will be the one who will perform gum disease treatment. The main purpose of gum disease treatment is to clean the deep pockets that surround the teeth to prevent further damage to the jawbone.

You are better placed to beat the disease if you also start practicing proper oral habits.

There are two types of treatments, depending on the severity of the disease:

Non-Surgical Treatment

  • Scaling

This is done to remove bacteria and tartar from beneath your gums and tooth surfaces. Our dentist will use either an ultrasonic device or a laser.

  • Root Planing

This process smooths the root surfaces to prevent further plaque buildup of bacteria and tartar. Also, it aids in removing the bacterial byproducts that cause inflammation and delay the reattachment or healing of the gum.

  • Antibiotics

These can be oral or topical antibiotics that control bacterial infection.

Surgical Treatment

This option is applicable if you have advanced periodontal disease. Dental surgery that is done can be:

  • Flap Surgery. This is done to expose your roots for thorough root planning and scaling.
  • Soft tissue grafts. If you have lost gum tissue, this procedure can be done to reinforce the damaged soft tissue.
  • Bone grafting. Since periodontitis affects the bone, bone grafting can be done if there is bone loss.
  • Tissue-stimulating proteins. This involves applying a special gel that stimulates the growth of tissue and bone.

Periodontal disease is preventable in most cases. However, you can still reach out to us by calling our dentist at Lawn Dental Center, if you think that you have gum disease.

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