Periodontal Disease (Gum Disease)

What is periodontal disease?

Periodontal disease, also known as gum disease, gingivitis and periodontitis in the later stages, is a bacterial infection of the gum tissues. Gum disease begins as bacteria, plaque and tartar buildup, and over time, begins to destroy healthy gum tissue and deteriorate the jaw bone.

Periodontal disease is the most common cause of tooth loss in adults (NIH).

What causes gum disease?

Gum disease is generally caused by poor oral hygiene or an insufficient hygiene routine. If teeth aren’t brushed at least twice daily and flossed once a day, bacteria will start to build up on the surface of the teeth, between the teeth, and around the gumline.

This bacteria then becomes plaque, a thicker bacteria paste that coats the teeth. As plaque builds up and hardens, it turns into tartar or calculus. Tartar can only be removed by professional cleanings, and at this point, your regular at-home oral hygiene routine won’t be able to reverse gum disease.

Tartar is filled with bacteria, which causes it to irritate the gum line. Over time, bacteria will begin eating away at the healthy gum tissue and form pockets under the gum line, near the tooth roots. These pockets harbor bacteria that causes the jaw bone to weaken and deteriorate, leading to tooth loss.

Signs & Symptoms of Gum Disease

There are different symptoms of gum disease, depending on the stage of progressions. Gum disease begins as gingivitis, progresses to periodontitis, then progresses to advanced periodontitis.

Symptoms of Stage 1: Gingivitis
Symptoms of Stage 2: Periodontitis
Symptoms of Stage 3: Advanced Periodontitis

Who can develop gum disease?

According to the CDC

  • 47.2% of adults aged 30 years and older have some form of periodontal disease.
  • Periodontal disease increases with age, 70.1% of adults 65 years and older have periodontal disease.

Though gum disease becomes more common as you age, anybody can develop gum disease, including young adults. During your young adult years, if you don’t commit to excellent oral care, you could be causing irreversible damage to your gums and underlying jaw bone.

Whatever your needs may be, we can work with your orthodontist to ensure that you experience the healthiest smile possible!

There are also a number of gum disease risk factors that may increase a person’s chances of developing this disease:

Is gum disease treatable?

The early stages of gum disease can be treated at home, but once the disease starts to progress, damaging the healthy gum disease and jaw bones, it’s critical that you schedule a treatment with us, so we can intervene and preserve as much healthy tissue and bone as possible!

If you’re starting to notice the signs or symptoms of gum disease, we encourage you to reach out to us to schedule a cleaning treatment. We perform periodontal maintenance cleanings and scaling & root planing to clean the dental crowns and tooth root surfaces and prevent gum disease from progressing.

For patients experiencing a later stage of gum disease, we offer pinhole gum rejuvenation to treat receding gums, periodontal regeneration surgery, LANAP (laser assisted new attachment procedure), and periodontal pocket reduction surgery.

When you visit us for your appointment, we’ll assess your condition to help you determine the best treatment route for your smile. We want to help you keep your natural, beautiful teeth for years to come!

Here’s how to reverse periodontal disease naturally if it’s in the early stages:

Have questions about periodontal disease?

Please don’t hesitate to reach out to us with any questions! We’re dedicated to providing expert periodontal care for the people in and around our communities.

Our experienced periodontists use state-of-the-art technologies throughout all of our services, because your comfort is most important to us. Find out why Periodontal Health Center is one of the top periodontists in Tampa and New Port Richey when you schedule an appointment with us.