Periodontal Disease

About Periodontal Disease

Periodontal disease, also known as gum disease, is a condition in which the gums and supporting structures of the teeth become inflamed and infected. The earliest stage of periodontal disease is gingivitis, which causes the gums to become red, swollen, and bleed easily.

If left untreated, gingivitis can progress to periodontitis, in which the gums begin to pull away from the teeth and the bones that support the teeth can be destroyed. Periodontitis can lead to tooth loss if not managed early and properly. Risk factors for periodontal disease include smoking, inadequate oral hygiene, and certain medical conditions such as diabetes.

Previously, it was thought that the plaque and bacteria in the gums is what destroys the tissues, but recent research shows that it is only the trigger. The bone and gums are actually destroyed by your own body’s overreaction to that plaque and bacteria. Like other inflammatory conditions in the body such as diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis, periodontal disease is not “curable”.

The goal of treatment is to keep the condition well managed long term so you lose as few teeth as possible over time. This involves a long-term relationship with a periodontist where the specific treatment plan may vary depending on the severity of the disease and the extent of the damage to the gums and supporting structures of the teeth.

The main goal of treatment is to remove the plaque and tartar which trigger the inflammation in your gums. This can be done through a combination of techniques, including:

Professional deep cleaning:

This involves scaling and root planing, which is a deep cleaning of the teeth and roots to remove plaque and tartar usually done with freezing and over several appointments.


Antibiotics can be prescribed to help fight the infection. In some cases, antimicrobial mouth rinses can be used to help reduce bacteria in the mouth.


In advanced cases, surgery may be necessary to restore the health of the gums and supporting structures of the teeth. This can include procedures such as flap surgery, in which the gums are lifted to access the roots of the teeth and remove plaque and tartar, and bone grafting, in which bone is added to the jaw to help support the teeth.

Maintenance therapy:

After the initial treatment, it is important to maintain good oral hygiene and regular dental check-ups to prevent the disease from recurring.

It is important to note that the success of treatment depends on the stage of the disease, individual’s health status, and ability to maintain proper oral hygiene.


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