Periodontal Disease

At some point most people will suffer from peridontal disease

Find out what causes it… and what you can do.

Periodontics What is peridontal disease?

Periodontal disease affects the gums and bone supporting the teeth. You may have it and not even know it. There are no early warning signs, except for occasional bleeding and redness around the gums when brushing, and mouth odor.

However, as the disease progresses, the symptoms become more obvious. If left untreated, peridontal disease can lead to loosening of teeth, receding gums, and gum discomfort.

What causes periodontal disease?

Bacteria are the primary cause of periodontal infection. Bacteria form in plaque, which is a sticky, almost invisible film that forms over the teeth and destroys bone.

Plaque that is not removed by regular brushing and flossing hardens into tartar over time. You cannot remove tartar (or calculus) on your own. The only way to remove tartar is by a procedure called scaling, which is done by a dentist.


Plaque & Calculus

Periodontitis - Early Stages

Stage 1. Gingivitis

In this early stage, your gums may look normal but they also may be red, puffy, and bleed easily when you brush your teeth. You also may notice some mouth

odor. This is because bacteria in plaque have caused infection.

Stage 2. Early Periodontitis

Early periodontitis occurs when the bacterial infection spreads from the gum to the bone that support the teeth. The bacteria then cause small spaces, or crevices, to form between the gums. These crevices are called pockets. They are deeper than normal spaces, which measure 1 to 3 mm deep. Bacteria in the pocket also can destroy some bone. As the pocket grows and the amount of bacteria increases, the gums recede down the root of the tooth, increasing the pocket depth. Your dentist measures how deep your pocket is with an instrument called a peridontal probe, which is placed in the gum crevice.

Periodontitis - Moderate Stage

Stage 3. Moderate Periodontitis


When the gum has crept further down the root, it is called moderate periodontitis. In this stage, up to one-third on your bone has been lost.

Stage 4. Advanced Periodontitis

Periodontitis - Advanced Stages

When half or more of the original bone holding the tooth has been lost, and pockets are very deep, it is called advanced periodontitis. The tooth may appear longer because the root is exposed, and the tooth may loosen and eventually fall out, or have to be removed by your dentist.

What you and your dentist can do to treat and prevent Periodontitis


Periodontal diseases may be prevented if you brush and floss every day to remove bacterial plaque and get regular dental checkups.

if you do have periodontal disease, your dentist or dental hygienist will remove the calculus above and below the gum. This procedure is called scaling. In moderate or severe perodontitis, it may be necessary to smooth the root surfaces of the teeth. This procedure, called root planing, removes residual calculus and bacterial by-products. Your dentist may also replace old crowns and fillings that no longer fit well because these trap bacterial and food that can cause severe periodontal problems.

       Periodontics - Flossing                                           Periodontitis - Brushing

Don’t Wait Until It Hurts

Periodontal disease is painless. It affects 75% of the population and often victims are unaware. It may also affect your overall health. There are warning signs that the American Dental Association and our staff want you to be aware of.

  • Do your gums bleed when you brush your teeth or tooth pick between them?
  • Are your gums red, swollen, or tender?
  • Are your gums pulling away from your teeth?
  • Do you see pus between your teeth and your gums when the gums are pressed?
  • Are your permanent teeth loose and separating?
  • Is there any change in the way your teeth fit together when you bite?
  • Is there any change in the fit of your partial dentures?
  • Do you have persistent bad breath?

If the answer is yes to any of these questions, bring it to the attention of your dentist or hygienist.

Act now and keep your teeth for a lifetime.


The Link Between Gum Disease & Heart Attacks

Previous studies have found the incidence of heart disease is about twice as high in people with periodontal (gum) disease, but until recently no plausible cause had been suggested. Now studies indicate that the most common strain of bacteria in dental plaque may cause blood clots. If these blood clots escape into the bloodstream, there is a corelation to increased risk of heart attacks and stroke.

People with periodontal disease (over one half the adult population) have an infection that causes chronic inflammation of the gums. Also, it is a path for these bacteria to enter the bloodstream.

A recent study describes the association between heart disease and gum disease to be at least as strong as the linkage of heart disease to cholesterol, body weight, or smoking.


 Should you have any questions or require additional information, please feel free to call us
at 607-734-2045 or click  to contact us directly.

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