What is periodontal disease?

Periodontal disease is a very common disease that affects nearly 70% of the adult population.

Periodontal disease is caused by harmful bacteria that live and grow in periodontal pockets around the teeth causing inflammation, bleeding gums, bad breath, recession, and bone loss. Yearly x-rays and periodontal probing are used to detect and diagnose periodontal disease in all adult patients. If left untreated, periodontal disease will cause more bone loss, recession and eventual tooth loss. Studies have shown periodontal disease is associated with heart disease, diabetes, and cancer. Early detection and diagnosis are very important.

Signs and symptoms of periodontal disease

  • Bleeding gums
  • Red and tender gums
  • Bad breathe or bad taste in the mouth
  • Recession or bone loss

Risk factors for periodontal disease

  • Not seeing a dentist regularly
  • Poor oral hygiene and home-care
  • Smoking and chewing tobacco
  • Genetics

How do we treat periodontal disease?

Once a patient is diagnosed with gum disease, we treat it by performing a deep cleaning on the teeth affected. Patients will be numbed with either topical anesthetic or traditional local anesthetic and the dental hygienist will fully remove all harmful bacteria as well as plaque and tartar build up both above and below the gum line. Laser Bacterial Reduction (LBR) is also performed with a dental laser to help eliminate harmful bacteria below the gum line. This helps to promote rapid healing as well as reduces the discomfort of red, swollen, sore gums. Patients will then return a month later to evaluate healing and to determine that the periodontal disease has been successfully treated.