Chicago Periodontics | Periodontist Lakeview, IL – Periodontic Treatment
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Lakeview South Loop
Lakeview South Loop
The term periodontics refers to a branch of dentistry that treats diseases of the gums and other supporting structures of the teeth, including the periodontal ligaments and alveolar bone. One of the most common conditions that adversely affects these tissues is gingivitis, which causes the gums to become inflamed and swell. Without proper treatment, gingivitis will progress to periodontitis. Periodontitis causes the gums to shrink and recede, as well as causing damage to the dental bones, potentially leading to severe infection and tooth loss.

What Causes Gingivitis and Periodontitis?

Poor dental hygiene is the primary cause of gingivitis, while smoking and illness can be contributing factors.  These conditions lead to the buildup of plaque, and without proper oral care, to the development of gum disease (gingivitis). Plaque is a sticky, invisible film, composed primarily of bacteria that forms on your teeth when sugars and starches in food interact with the bacteria that is normally found in your mouth. Plaque must be removed every day, as it re-forms quickly.

Plaque buildup turns into tartar under the gumline, forming a protective barrier for bacteria to spread. Tartar makes it more difficult to remove plaque and causes irritation along the gumline. It can only be removed with a professional teeth cleaning.

Symptoms of Gingivitis

The severity of symptoms vary from person to person, however, most people with gingivitis will experience swelling, tenderness, and inflammation (redness) of the gingiva, the portion of the gums at the base of the teeth. This causes discomfort when eating, unpleasant taste or bad breath that won’t go away, and gums that bleed during brushing. Should you recognize any of these symptoms, schedule an appointment with our knowledgeable periodontist near the loop as soon as possible.

When gingivitis is left untreated, it can progress to periodontitis, which is a much more serious condition that leads to eventual tooth loss. The symptoms become more severe and often include shrinking, receding gums, pockets forming between the teeth and gums, and shifting or loose teeth. Some research even suggests that untreated periodontitis can lead to bacteria entering the bloodstream through the gum tissue, possibly affecting other organs of the body – negatively impacting overall health.

Preventing Gum Disease

Good dental hygiene, including proper brushing at least twice per day and flossing once per day will go a long way to preventing gingivitis and periodontitis. For optimal health, try to brush within an hour of each meal, to allow your saliva to remineralize your teeth surfaces, and always brush right before going to bed each night. 

Brush using circular motions, making sure to get to the hard-to-reach back teeth. These are particularly susceptible to plaque buildup, as they are always used for chewing food and are difficult to keep clean. After brushing, use floss – at least once per day.

After brushing and flossing, rinse your mouth with an antimicrobial or antiseptic mouthwash to remove any remaining small particles of food, and to disinfect your mouth. Because antiseptic washes contain more alcohol, if you are prone to experience dry mouth or irritation, choose a mouthwash with a lower alcohol content.

Ideally, you should have your teeth professionally cleaned two times per year. During your cleaning appointment, your dentist will scrape away tartar and plaque along your gum line, helping to prevent the buildup that causes gum disease. If you already suffer from gingivitis, you may require more frequent cleanings.


Fortunately, gum disease is not particularly difficult to treat. How far the condition has progressed will affect the type of treatment you will need, and the treatment plan may include surgery to repair any damage your dental tissue has sustained. Other therapies may be recommended to prevent bacteria from spreading – and a professional periodontal consultation is the best way to find out which treatments are most appropriate for you.

  • Teeth Cleaning

Having a thorough, professional teeth cleaning is the first step in regaining control of your dental health. During this procedure, your dentist will remove tartar and plaque along the gum line.

  • Root Planing and Scaling

This is a slightly more invasive cleaning procedure that will involve the dentist or periodontist smoothing the surface of your teeth, allowing the gums to reattach themselves more easily, so bacteria will find it more difficult to grow and spread.

  • Surgical Grafting

Surgical grafting involves replacing bone tissue that has been destroyed due to gum disease with new bone. This allows your teeth to reestablish their bond to gum and bone tissue, as well as strengthening the bone structure.

  • Pocket Reduction Surgery

Your dentist or periodontist will reduce and eliminate pockets that have formed between your teeth and gums, discouraging bacteria, and allowing your gums to heal properly. The gums will be surgically lifted and the tarter and severely damaged bone will be removed, facilitating the healing process.

  • Soft Tissue Grafts

If your gums are receding too much, this procedure – using healthy tissue from another area of the mouth – can repair them and strengthen your gums. This surgery is also used to cover exposed roots, preventing further damage and decay.

Visit Our Highly Skilled Periodontist Close to the Loop

If you are concerned that you may be suffering from gingivitis or periodontitis, please contact us for more information regarding the many treatments available to treat these conditions. Give us a call to schedule an appointment at your convenience – we look forward to speaking with you

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