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Periodontal (Gum) Disease


Brushing and flossing your teeth are essential habits for maintaining the health of your mouth. So, too, are regular dental visits for cleanings and exams. Without proper oral hygiene practices, your mouth is at risk for developing periodontal (gum) disease, which is a serious oral health complication. Ignoring periodontal disease, or simply increasing your brushing and flossing, will not help to solve the issue, and it will only continue to get worse over time. At Cameo Dental Specialists, we can help to treat gum disease, restoring the health of your mouth, and help you to take steps to prevent it from reoccurring in the future.
Periodontitis diagram at Cameo Dental Specialists

What is Periodontal (Gum) Disease?

Periodontal (gum) disease is the result of a buildup of plaque (a sticky substance that collects on the surfaces of your teeth) and oral bacteria in your mouth. They both irritate your gum tissue, which causes inflammation. As your gums swell, the tissue pulls away from your teeth, creating pockets, and bacteria fall inside. From these pockets, bacteria continue to attack your gums, and they also start attacking your periodontal ligaments (the structures that hold your teeth stable), and your jawbone. Eventually, this can lead to loose and missing teeth, as well as bacteria in the bloodstream (which can lead to health complications such as heart disease, stroke, and diabetes).

Causes of Periodontal Disease

There are several causes of gum disease:
•  Poor oral hygiene. Ignoring parts of your oral hygiene routine (skipping flossing, brushing once a day, brushing for less than 2 minutes, skipping dental visits), or even completely ignoring the routine will lead to an excess buildup of plaque and bacteria.
•  Smoking. Cigarettes and other tobacco products restrict oxygen in your blood, as well as your overall blood flow, which deprives your gums of essential nutrients and slows healing.
•  Drinking. Alcohol has a drying effect on your mouth, which promotes bacterial growth.
•  Certain medications. Some medications can promote drying as well.
•  Nutritional deficiencies. Deficiencies in vitamins C and B12 can lead to poor gum health.
•  Alignment issues. When your teeth are out of proper alignment, it can raise your risk of developing gum disease.

Symptoms of Periodontal Disease

There are various symptoms of periodontal disease, including:
•  Red, swollen gums that bleed when you brush and floss (this is the earliest warning sign).
•  Chronic bad breath.
•  Spaces between your teeth that were not there before.
•  Gum recession.
•  Tooth sensitivity (exposed roots).
•  Loose teeth.
•  Your teeth may shift out of their natural alignment.
•  Missing teeth.

Treatments for Periodontal Disease

The treatment you receive for periodontal disease will vary based on how advanced your condition is. Treatments for periodontal disease include:
•  Scaling and root planing. This procedure is essentially a deep cleaning for your teeth, removing build-up and bacteria from the surfaces of your teeth and smoothing your roots.
•  Laser treatment. Treatment using a laser is often done to remove infected gum tissue, which provides the access we need to perform a thorough scaling and root planing.
•  Pocket reduction surgery. If your periodontal pockets are too deep, we will not be able to access them to perform a thorough cleaning. With pocket reduction surgery, we make incisions to expose the roots of your teeth, clean them and stitch your gums closed.
•  Gum grafts. A gum graft helps to reverse the effects of gum recession.
•  Bone grafts. A bone graft restores bone mass lost as a result of periodontal disease, which helps to restore the strength of your jawbone.

If you have periodontal disease or suspect you do, seeking treatment as soon as possible is imperative for stopping it in its tracks, and preventing it from growing worse. For more information, or to schedule your consultation, call Cameo Dental Specialists today at (708) 456-7787.
The Cameo doctors who lead our experienced and highly trained staff provide exceptional care in a friendly and comfortable environment.
Call Cameo Dental Specialists today to schedule an appointment at one of our 4 locations.


7603 West North Avenue
River Forest, Illinois 60305

708-456-7787
3116 Oak Park Avenue
Berwyn, Illinois 60402

708-484-9011
475 West 55th Street, Suite 208
La Grange, IL 60525

708-579-0488
910 W. Van Buren Suite 600
Chicago, IL 60607

312-201-4141

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