Periodontal disease, or gum disease, not only leads to tooth loss, but has been shown to affect the entire body when left untreated. It is an ongoing bacterial infection that can have a systemic effect on the body’s organ systems and is associated with serious health problems including: heart disease, stroke, Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes and other conditions. It may also contribute to preterm and low birth weight births. At Gartner Periodontal Care  in Westchester, Illinois, Dr. Bruce Gartner  provides expert, compassionate care for periodontal disease. He will work with your dentist to ensure you receive the individualized treatment plan that is best for you.

Early gum disease is called gingivitis. It causes the gums to become red, swollen and tender. They may bleed easily. A professional cleaning or improved dental hygiene at home can reverse gingivitis. If untreated, gingivitis can develop into periodontitis. Symptoms include bright red or purple gums, swollen gums, loose teeth and bad breath. Advanced symptoms can include abscess, tooth loss or infection of the jaw bone.


Treatment for periodontal disease may be non-surgical or surgical, depending on the severity of the condition. Non-surgical treatments are preferred whenever possible, and many times serve to successfully treat gum disease without resorting to surgery.

Non-surgical treatments

Dr. Gartner provides the following non-surgical treatments for periodontal disease:

  • Scaling and root planing – Root surfaces are carefully cleaned to remove plaque and tartar from deep pockets in the gums. The tooth root is then smoothed to remove bacterial toxins.
  • Antibiotics – Following scaling and root planing, Dr. Gartner may place an antibiotic (such as Arestin®) in the pocket between your gum and tooth to help fight infection.

Surgical treatments

In the event that gum disease is advanced or resists non-surgical treatment, you may need surgery. Some of the surgical procedures performed by Dr. Gartner include:

  • Soft tissue grafts
  • Extractions
  • Socket grafts
  • Bone grafts
  • Crown lengthening
  • Pocket reduction
  • Regeneration
  • Biopsies
  • Osseous Surgery

For the best non-surgical and surgical care for periodontal disease in Westchester, Illinois, call Gartner Periodontal Care at (708) 681-5154 or request an appointment online.