What is Periodontal Disease

As a periodontist,  I specialize in the art and science of creating healthy and beautiful smiles.  Peridontal disease is a progressive condition and leading cause of tooth loss among adults. Services are offered in the treatment of gum disease, regeneration or reconstruction of bone and gum tissue, placement of dental implants, and cosmetic periodontal surgery.

My philosophy is to provide comprehensive periodontal treatment that addresses your individual needs and expectations.  I provide all aspects of periodontal treatment including surgical and non-surgical therapy.  My goal is to restore your mouth to healthy comfort and function.

As a periodontal practice, we believe that ongoing support, education and maintenance is vital to your long term periodontal health and overall well being. 

What is periodontal disease?

Periodontal disease is a serious bacterial infection that affects the gum and bone that support the teeth.   If left untreated it can lead to tooth loss.  Three out of four adults over the age of 35 have some form of periodontal disease.  It can adversely impact other conditions such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, stroke, bacterial pneumonia and increase risk during pregnancy.  In other words the disease in your gums can contribute to problems in the rest of your body.   In some cases,  successful treatment of your gum condition can substantially improve your overall health.

Click graphic to view a periodontal disease animation.

The most common conditions treated by the periodontist are:

  • Gingivitis:  This is the mildest form of gum disease which may or may not be accompanied by pain and/or bleeding.
  • Mild/Moderate Periodontitis:  This may be accompanied by bleeding, recession and loss of bone.
  • Advanced Periodontitis:  This is accompanied by significant bone loss resulting in the shifting of teeth and possible loss of teeth. 
  • Missing Teeth:  When teeth are missing as a result of bone loss, implants can be placed to replace the missing teeth.

Understanding Periodontal Pockets

One of the chief signs of gum disease is the presence of periodontal pockets, ie spaces around the teeth, below the gumline, that have become infected. If your mouth is healthy, your gums should fit snugly around each tooth. However, gum disease can lead to deeper spaces around your teeth called periodontal pockets. Pockets provide an ideal environment for bacteria to grow and may spread infection to the structures that keep teeth anchored in the mouth. Although periodontal pockets are invisible to the eye, they can be detected during a periodontal exam when the space between the gums and teeth is measured.

Click graphic to have a bigger view of the periodontal pockets.