Gum Disease FAQs


Gum disease is the single most prevalent disease in America, affecting about 80% of the population in some form. Gingivitis is the mildest form of gum disease (also known as periodontal disease), and periodontitis is a more advanced form of the disease. As the condition continues to worsen, gums will recede from the teeth, allowing pockets of bacteria to form. This bacteria can destroy gum tissue and bone, and research has shown that gum disease may be linked to a number of systemic health problems, including stroke and heart disease.

What Treatments Do We Offer for Gum Disease?

We offer a non-surgical periodontal therapy option which uses scaling, root planing, and/or antibiotic therapy to treat your gum disease. Which treatment will work best for you depends entirely on the progression of your periodontal disease and overall health condition.

Periodontal disease can be described as an inflammation and/or infection of the gums and bone that support the teeth. Gingivitis is the mildest form of gum disease (also known as periodontal disease), and Periodontitis is a more advanced form of the disease. Bacterial plaque, and its by-products, plus calculus (tartar) and roughened root surfaces can overwhelm the mouth’s defenses. Typically, unhealthy gum tissue covers eroded bone resulting in abnormal pockets around the roots of the teeth. You may notice that your gums bleed easily, that you have a bad taste in your mouth, your gums may appear red and/or swollen and your teeth may have shifted OR you may not notice anything at all. Studies show that three out of every four American adults develop some degree of periodontal disease and periodontal disease is the #1 cause of adult tooth loss in the United States! Research has shown that gum disease can be linked to a number of systemic health problems, including stroke and heart disease.

WHAT TREATMENTS TO WE OFFER TO TREAT PERIODONTAL (GUM) DISEASE?

Non-Surgical Periodontal Therapy also known as Scaling and root planning is typically one of the first steps in treating periodontal disease in a non-surgical manner. Scaling and root planning is a therapeutic (healing), meticulous and time consuming treatment designed to remove the toxins and bacteria from the root surfaces of the teeth, thereby allowing the body’s immune system to begin the healing process. Calculus (tartar), and diseased tooth tissue is scaled away. These procedures are used as a complete treatment in some stages of periodontal disease. Several appointments, treating sections of the mouth at a time and using local anesthesia may be required. These procedures are considered critical in establishing periodontal health. Recent studies are beginning to show a relationship between periodontal health in certain heart conditions and other systemic diseases.

WHAT HAPPENS AFTER PERIODONTAL THERAPY?

After you have finished your scaling and root planning, regular cleanings are no longer effective. The American Dental Association refers to post –scaling and root planning procedures as PERIODONTAL MAINTENANCE. These periodontal maintenance visits are not considered a regular cleaning due to the nature of disease control. The bacteria causing periodontal disease re-establish themselves in as little as 90 days and it is critical to disrupt this process in order to disable the destructive process and avoid relapse. There is NO CURE for periodontal disease; it can only be MANAGED OR CONTROLLED. The successful long-term control of periodontal disease depends on active and continuous maintenance therapy and your consistant homecare.