About Periodontics

Periodontal disease attacks the gums and bone supporting the teeth. Plaque results when a sticky film of food debris, bacteria, and saliva forms. If plaque is not removed, it may turn into tartar. When plaque and tartar are not removed, they begin to undermine the gums and bone. Periodontal disease is characterized by red, swollen, and bleeding gums.Four out of five people have periodontal disease and don’t know it!  Most people are not aware because the disease is usually painless in the early stages.

Not only is it the number one reason for tooth loss, research suggests that there may be a link between periodontal disease and other diseases such as, stroke, bacterial pneumonia, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and increased risk during pregnancy. Smoking also increases the risk of periodontal disease.

Good oral hygiene, a balanced diet, and regular dental visits can help reduce your risk of developing periodontal disease.

Signs and symptoms of periodontal disease:

  • Bleeding gums – Gums should never bleed, even after brushing vigorously or using dental floss.
  • Loose teeth – Also caused by bone loss or weakened periodontal fibers (fibers supporting the tooth’s connection to bone)
  • New spacing between teeth – Caused by bone loss.
  • Persistent bad breath – Caused by bacteria in the mouth.
  • Pus around the teeth and gums – A sign of infection
  • Receding gums – Loss of gum around a tooth.
  • Red and puffy gums – Red or swollen gums signal disease.
  • Tenderness or Discomfort – Plaque, calculus, and bacteria irritate gums and teeth.


Gingivitis is the first stage of periodontal disease. Plaque and related toxin by-products irritate the gums, making them tender, inflamed, and likely to bleed.

Plaque left on tooth enamel hardens into calculus (tartar). As calculus and plaque continue to build, the gums begin to recede from the teeth. When deeper pockets form between the gums and teeth, they can become filled with bacteria and pus. This causes gums to become irritated, inflamed, and quick to bleed. Slight to moderate bone loss may be present.

Advanced Periodontitis
Teeth lose support as gums, bone, and periodontal ligaments continue to be destroyed. Without treatment, the affected teeth loosen and become susceptible to loss. Generalized moderate to severe bone loss may be present.

Scaling and Root Planing (Deep Scaling)

If the disease has progressed to more advanced stages, a special periodontal cleaning called scaling and root planing will be recommended. This is usually undertaken one quadrant of the mouth at a time, while the area is numb. With this procedure, tartar, plaque, and toxins are removed from above and below the gum line (scaling) and rough spots on root surfaces are smoothed (planing). This procedure helps gum tissue heal, and abscesses or pockets shrink. If pockets do not heal after scaling and root planing, periodontal surgery may be needed to reduce pocket depth, making it easier to clean teeth.

Periodontal Maintenance
Once your periodontal treatment has been completed, it is recommended that you maintain regular periodontal cleanings, about every three months.  Plaque and calculus that is difficult to remove on a daily basis will be removed from above and below the gum line. Safe oral hygiene practices and periodontal cleanings are essential to maintaining dental health and keeping periodontal disease under control!

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