Gum Disease

periodontitis

Gum disease, also known as periodontal disease, is an infection of the gums surrounding your teeth. Gum disease is one of the top reasons for tooth loss in adults, and because it is virtually pain-free, many patients do not know they have the disease. During each regular checkup, your dentist will check for signs of periodontal disease by measuring the space between your teeth and gums.

What causes gum disease?

Gum disease is caused by a buildup of plaque (a sticky form of bacteria that forms on the teeth). If the plaque is not removed (by flossing, brushing, and regular dental checkups), it will continue to build up and create toxins that can damage the gums. Periodontal disease forms just below the gum line and creates small pockets that separate the gums from the teeth. Periodontal disease has two stages: gingivitis and periodontitis.

  • Gingivitis — This is the early stage of gum disease, when the gums become red and swollen, and bleed easily. At this stage, the disease is treatable and can usually be eliminated by daily brushing and flossing.
  • Periodontitis — If left untreated, gingivitis will advance into periodontitis, and the gums and bone that support the teeth will become seriously and irreversibly damaged. Gums infected with periodontitis can cause teeth to become loose, fall out, or be removed by a dentist.

Certain factors can increase a patient's risk of developing periodontal disease, including:

  • Smoking or using chewing tobacco
  • Diabetes
  • Certain types of medication such as steroids, anti-epilepsy drugs, cancer therapy drugs, calcium channel blockers, and oral contraceptives
  • Bridges that no longer fit properly
  • Crooked teeth
  • Old fillings
  • Pregnancy

While it is possible to have periodontal disease and not know it, some symptoms can include:

  • Gums that bleed easily
  • Red, swollen, tender gums
  • Gums that have pulled away from the teeth
  • Persistent bad breath or bad taste
  • Pus between your teeth and gums
  • Permanent teeth that are loose or separating
  • Any change in the way your teeth fit together when you bite
  • Any change in the fit of partial dentures

Treating Gum Disease

Treatments for gum disease can vary depending on the severity of each individual case. Typical treatments include:

  • Non-surgical treatments such as at-home periodontal trays, and scaling and root planing (deep cleaning)
  • Periodontal surgery and laser gum surgery
  • Dental implants

Preventing Gum Disease

Regular dental checkups and periodontal examinations are important for maintaining your health and the health of your smile. You don't have to lose teeth to periodontal disease, and by practicing good oral hygiene at home, you can significantly reduce your chances of ever getting gum disease. Remember to brush regularly, clean between your teeth, eat a balanced diet, and schedule regular dental visits to help keep your smile healthy.

What Our Patients Say

  • Dr. Rodriguez & his lovely staff is the most professional, down to earth, & charismatic group I have ever had the pleasure of being a patient. They ensure & make every effort to see that I am taken care of from reception to completion of the visit. If you are looking for a dentist & staff that is knowledgeable & caring look no further! Beautiful office, beautiful people, outstanding service.— Tonya D.
  • They are very friendly but professional. I enjoy my visit there every 6 months. Everyone is so nice from receptionist to dentist and hygienist. Also all the dental assistants are so nice. I have been their patient for more than 15 years. Dr. Rodriguez is a great trustworthy dentist!!!— Luz V.
  • This is a very nice dental office with smiling faces and honest transactions. The staff is very friendly and straightforward when it comes to charges. I recommended this office to my wife and she came and she liked it.....WOW! If my wife liked it, they must be a good office! I've had cleanings and a crown performed here and my experiences have been pleasant.— Jonathon P.
  • I have been coming to this dentist for over ten years. I have since moved to Las Vegas but still come back here to get my teeth worked on. If that is not a testament of how highly I regard Dr. Rodriguez and his staff I don't know what is.— Jeremy D.
  • Today I enjoyed a visit with the wonderful team and look forward to my implants later this month. Having been a loyal client of Dr. Rodriguez and his very accommodating team for 10 years, I had no reservations when it came to trusting him, Donna, Laura, Gloria, Cindy and his newer team members. They have cared for me like family; I thank God I found them and urge everyone to get there as soon as possible.— John G.
sesame communicationsWebsite Powered by Sesame 24-7™ | Site Map | Back to Top