Gum disease (also known as periodontal disease) is a serious infection of the gums and the number one reason adults lose teeth. It can destroy ligaments and bone that support your teeth and cannot be cured, but only can be controlled.


What Are Symptoms of Gum Disease?

It is possible to not have any noticeable symptoms. Most people are unaware they have it. Here are a few symptoms:

  • Bleeding gums when you brush or floss
  • Swollen or tender gums
  • Gums pulling away from teeth
  • Loose teeth
  • Persistent bad breath


What Causes Gum Disease?

Here are some common causes of gum disease:

  • Long term plaque build-up (chunky white bacteria on your teeth)
  • Genetic tendency to carry this bacteria
  • Poor oral health
  • Poor diet


How Is Gum Disease Diagnosed?

To determine if you have periodontal disease, we perform a thorough examination which includes taking x-rays to determine how much bone has been lost. We then measure the tiny grooves between the tooth and the gum with a probe. The probe has measurements that measure these pockets. The pockets larger than 3 mm need to be assessed. If the disease is found, we discuss proper treatment options and at home-care.


How Is Gum Disease Treated?

Periodontal disease is unpredictable. Because it cannot be cured, only controlled, a dental professional needs to examine your gums every three months. If not, the disease can quickly worsen, destroy bone and soft tissue, and eventually cause you to lose teeth. It can also spread to other parts of your body.

At your three month re-care appointment, your dental hygienist will:

  • Take x-rays to check the jawbone levels
  • Measure gum pocket depths
  • Remove plaque above and below gum line
  • Check for loose teeth or bleeding gums

What Is the Difference Between a 3-Month Re-Care Cleaning and a Regular 6-Month Cleaning?

For treating gum disease, a more thorough and deep cleaning below the gum line is performed. This is the infected area and requires different instruments and technology. At a regular cleaning, for individuals without gum disease, the hygienist will clean above the gum line (the part of your teeth that you can see).


Will My Insurance Cover the Cost of a Gum Disease Therapy?

Everybody’s insurance plan is different. The best thing to do is to call our office and our expert financial team members will be able to assist you, answer any questions, and find the best solution to meet your financial needs.