Periodontics is a specialized field within dentistry that focuses on the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of diseases that affect the gums and supporting structures of the teeth. It plays a crucial role in maintaining oral health and preventing conditions such as gingivitis and periodontitis, which can lead to tooth loss if left untreated. In this article, we will explore the importance of periodontics, common periodontal diseases, treatment options, and preventive measures to maintain healthy gums and teeth.

The Importance of Periodontics

The health of our gums is essential for overall oral health and general well-being. Periodontics addresses issues related to the gums and supporting structures of the teeth, including the periodontal ligament and alveolar bone. Without proper periodontal care, individuals may experience a range of problems, including gum inflammation, gum recession, tooth mobility, and ultimately, tooth loss. 

Common Periodontal Diseases

Gum disease, also known as periodontal disease, is a common oral health issue that affects the gums and supporting structures of the teeth. It typically starts with plaque buildup on the teeth, which can harden into tartar if not removed through regular brushing and flossing. As tartar accumulates along the gumline, it can lead to inflammation and infection.

  • Gingivitis

The early stage of gum disease is called gingivitis, characterized by redness, swelling, and bleeding gums during brushing or flossing.

  • Periodontitis 

If left untreated, gingivitis can progress to periodontitis where the gums begin to pull away from the teeth, forming pockets that trap bacteria and debris. This can result in bone loss and ultimately tooth loss if not managed effectively by a periodontist.

Regular dental checkups are crucial for detecting and addressing gum disease in its early stages before it advances. Maintaining good oral hygiene habits such as brushing twice a day, flossing daily, and seeing your dentist in Skokie, IL regularly can help prevent gum disease and preserve your oral health over time.

Treatment Options

Treatment options for periodontal diseases vary depending on the severity of the condition. Periodontal diseases range from mild gingivitis to more advanced periodontitis, and the treatment approach will be tailored to the individual's specific needs. Here, we'll explore some common treatment options:

Nonsurgical Treatments

  • Professional dental cleaning: This involves the removal of plaque and tartar buildup from the teeth and gums, particularly in areas that are difficult to reach with regular brushing and flossing. Professional cleanings help prevent the progression of gingivitis and reduce inflammation.
  • Scaling and root planing: Also known as deep cleaning, this procedure involves removing plaque and tartar from below the gumline and smoothing the tooth roots to remove bacteria and promote healing. Scaling and root planing are typically recommended for patients with early-stage periodontitis. Call us to learn more.

Surgical Treatments

  • Gum flap surgery: In cases where nonsurgical treatments are not sufficient, gum flap surgery may be recommended. During this procedure, the gums are lifted back to allow access to the roots of the teeth for thorough cleaning. The gums are then repositioned and sutured back into place.
  • Bone grafting: Advanced periodontitis can lead to bone loss around the teeth. Bone grafting involves adding bone tissue to the affected area to stimulate new bone growth and restore the bone's strength and density.
  • Tissue regeneration: This procedure aims to regenerate lost gum and bone tissue caused by periodontal disease. It involves placing special membranes, bone grafts, or growth factors in the affected area to promote tissue regeneration and attachment to the tooth root surface.

Adjunctive Treatments

  • Antibiotic therapy: In some cases, antibiotics may be prescribed to control bacterial infection and reduce inflammation. Antibiotics can be administered orally, topically (as mouthwash), or directly into periodontal pockets.
  • Laser therapy: Laser-assisted periodontal therapy involves using a dental laser to remove diseased tissue and bacteria from periodontal pockets. Laser therapy can help reduce pocket depths and promote gum tissue regeneration.

Maintenance Therapy

  • Periodontal maintenance: After initial treatment, patients require ongoing maintenance therapy to prevent the recurrence of periodontal disease. Periodontal maintenance typically involves regular dental checkups, professional cleanings, and monitoring of gum health.
  • Oral hygiene education: Patients receive guidance on proper oral hygiene practices, including brushing techniques, flossing, and the use of adjunctive oral hygiene products such as antimicrobial mouth rinses or interdental brushes.

Preventive Measures

Prevention is key when it comes to maintaining healthy gums and preventing periodontal diseases. Good oral hygiene practices, including regular brushing and flossing, help remove plaque and bacteria from the teeth and gums, reducing the risk of gum disease. Additionally, routine dental checkups and cleanings allow our Skokie, IL dentist to detect early signs of gum disease and intervene before it progresses.

The Role of Nutrition

Nutrition plays a significant role in periodontal health. A diet rich in vitamins and minerals, particularly vitamin C and calcium, helps support healthy gums and bones. Foods high in sugar and carbohydrates should be limited, as they can contribute to plaque formation and increase the risk of gum disease. Drinking plenty of water also helps flush out bacteria and debris from the mouth, promoting oral health.

The Importance of Regular Dental Visits

Regular dental visits are essential for maintaining optimal periodontal health. During these visits, dentists can assess the health of your gums, perform professional cleanings to remove plaque and tartar buildup, and provide personalized recommendations for oral hygiene and preventive care. Early detection and intervention are key to preventing the progression of gum disease and preserving your smile for years to come.


Periodontics plays a vital role in maintaining oral health and preventing conditions such as gingivitis and periodontitis. By practicing good oral hygiene, adopting a healthy diet, and scheduling regular dental checkups, you can keep your gums healthy and reduce the risk of gum disease. Remember, a healthy smile starts with healthy gums, so prioritize your periodontal health for a lifetime of smiles.

Experience the difference at Krueger Dental Associates! Discover personalized care, advanced treatments, and a commitment to your oral health. Schedule your appointment today at our Skokie, IL, location. Call us at (847) 328-1180 to take the first step towards a healthier, happier smile!

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