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Gum disease is the chronic inflammation and infection of gum tissues. It often results when food particles and plaque are not removed from your teeth during daily brushing and flossing. This causes hardened tartar to build up near the gumline. Things like regular tobacco use, alcohol abuse and certain medical conditions, like diabetes, can increase your chances of developing gum disease.

Gum disease often starts out as gingivitis. Common symptoms include red or inflamed gums that bleed easily during brushing and flossing as well as problems with chronic bad breath. This level of infection can often be remedied by a thorough cleaning treatment at Thomas Bell, DDS. You can then prevent future infections with consistent improvements in your daily oral hygiene routine.

Without timely treatment, gingivitis can develop into the more advanced form of gum disease known as periodontitis. This level of infection in the gum tissue can cause your gums to recede from the base of your teeth. This enables pockets of infection to form deep within the gum tissues. In time, it can even result in the loss of bone structure deep down where your teeth anchor in the sockets.

Chronic periodontitis can also cause systemic inflammation issues that tax your immune system. Continuing research has found that this can be related to other medical conditions including diabetes, heart disease and certain types of cancer. While gum disease cannot cause these conditions, it does have a relationship with them that can limit your treatment options.

If you are concerned that you might have developed gingivitis or periodontitis in La Grange, Illinois, you should call 708.469.6006 to explore your gum disease treatment options with your dentist, Dr. Thomas Bell.