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Why See a Periodontist?

When your gums become unhealthy, they can become swollen and/or red. If treated at an early stage, gum disease can be managed or possibly reversed. If left untreated, it can lead to periodontitis which can destroy the gum, bones, and other oral structures leading to your teeth loosening or falling out. Periodontists receive advanced training in the latest techniques and innovations in periodontal treatment and will work with you to provide a treatment plan suited to your needs.

Periodontal (gum) disease is an ongoing infection of the gums that can slowly destroy the tissues that support your teeth. Gingivitis, the initial stage of gum disease, can lead to periodontitis if left untreated. A periodontist is a dentist who specializes in the diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of all forms of periodontal disease, including gingivitis, periodontal (gum) disease, and periodontitis. Periodontists are also experts in the placement of implants and regenerating lost gum and bone around teeth.

Commons Signs and Symptoms of Gum Disease:

  • Gums that bleed easily (especially when flossing or brushing)
  • Red, swollen, and/or tender gums
  • Persistent bad breath
  • Gums that have pulled away from teeth, causing the tooth to look longer than before
  • Loose or separating teeth
  • White spots around the gum line
  • Changes in your bite

Common Treatments:

  • Scaling and Root Planing – Also known as a deep cleaning, this procedure helps slow down the disease process by smoothing the root surface of your teeth so that gums tissues can more firmly attach.
  • Clinical Crown Lengthening – This procedure elongates tooth at the base to expose additional tooth surface and improve smile.
  • Gingival Graft – Offered to patients with receding gums, tissue is grafted onto the site of recession leading an improved appearance of the gum tissue around your tooth.
  • Osseous Surgery – When the bone supporting teeth has been destroyed, osseous surgery eliminates gum pockets by trimming the infected gum tissue and diseased bone (reducing pocket depth and removing bacteria).
  • Bone Graft – Can be done to improve bony foundation around teeth to improve health. Can also be done in preparation for a dental implant.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is gum disease contagious?

It is unlikely for one individual to pass gum disease to someone else simply by mouth. However, it’s possible that you may be at a higher risk of developing gum disease if you have a family history of it. Ensure you’re attending your biannual cleanings to allow our team to accurately monitor your gum health.

Can gum disease be reversed?

In its earliest stages, it is possible for gum disease to be reversed. Oftentimes, we’ll recommend more frequent professional cleanings and a more rigorous at-home dental hygiene routine. Once gum disease has caused some recession or progressed into periodontitis, there is little we can do to reverse the effects.

What does gum disease look like?

Gum disease can appear differently in each patient. However, some of the most common signs of gum disease include red, swollen gums and excessive bleeding when flossing or brushing. You may also notice chronic bad breath, gums that look like they’re separating from the teeth, or white spots on the gum line. If you’re noticing any of the following, please speak with a member of our team to schedule an appointment.

How is gum disease diagnosed?

Gum disease must be diagnosed by a dental professional. First, we’ll examine the gums and look for bleeding, inflammation, or recession. We’ll also check for any loose teeth, as this can be a sign of gum disease. In many cases, we’ll also take X-rays to see if you’ve suffered from any bone loss due to periodontitis.

For more resources on periodontics, please visit the American Academy of Periodontology website at

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