Periodontal (Gum) Disease

“Perio” means around and “dontal” refers to teeth. This specialty of dentistry concerns the structures surrounding and supporting the teeth, as well as the diseases and conditions that affect it.

Periodontal ( Gum ) disease, if left untreated, can lead to tooth loss. Over 90% of the population has some form of gum problem, rendering periodontal disease the most common oral disease worldwide.


Periodontal ( Gum ) disease is mostly caused by inadequate oral hygiene. As a result, bacteria which live in the plaque and tartar on your teeth thrive and produce harmful chemicals that cause your gums to bleed and recede.


Gingivitis is the mildest form of periodontal disease. It is the inflammation of the gums, causing it to appear red and swollen and they can bleed easily. Gingivitis is reversible with proper brushing, flossing, and rinsing with an antiseptic mouthwash. Regular cleaning by your dentist or hygienist every 6 months will also help reduce gingivitis.


Untreated gingivitis can progress to periodontitis. Periodontitis means inflammation around the tooth and the surrounding gum responds by pulling away from the teeth and form pockets that become infected. Infected pockets will destroy the gums, bones, and tissues that support the teeth. Eventually, the infected tooth will become mobile and will need to be extracted. Periodontitis is irreversible. At this point, only professional dental treatment can help.

In recent years, studies have shown an association between periodontal disease to a vast number of systemic diseases. While genetics may predispose one to gum disease, there are several other contributing factors. These include:

  • Age
  • Tobacco use
  • Certain medications that cause dry mouth (e.g. steroids)
  • Systemic diseases (e.g, diabetes)
  • Stress
  • Obesity
  • Hormonal changes during puberty, pregnancy, or menopause
  • Poor fitting restorations
  • Crooked teeth
  • Poor oral hygiene habits
Signs of Gingivitis
  1. Inflamed and swollen gum that bleed easily
  2. Bad breath or bad taste
Signs of Periondotitis.
  1. Inflamed and swollen gum that bleed easily
  2. Receding Gum
  3. Bad breath or bad taste
  4. Pain and tenderness when chewing
  5. Tooth sensitivity
  6. Gingival ulceration and suppuration
  7. Discolouration of plaque
  8. Tooth mobility, drifting and eventual loss

Treatment Plan for Periodontal disease

It is possible that periodontal disease does not display any apparent signs because it is usually painless and you may not know you have it. The first sign that may indicate gum disease is usually bleeding of the gums when brushing or flossing.

Thus, regular checkups by a professional dentist or hygienist every 6 months is important as early detection of the progressive disease means higher success and better outcomes from periodontal treatment.

  1. Complete Periodontal Evaluation including Dental X-Rays and Charting.
  2. Scaling and Root Planing.
  3. Possible use of Antibiotics pills.
  4. Antiseptic mouthwash prescribed by the Dentist.
  5. Oral hygiene instruction and demonstration to the Patient.
  6. Maintenance and recall Appointment

For patients with advanced periodontal disease, we may refer you to a Periodontist (Gum Specialist) for a second opinion and to undergo gum treatment.

Dental Exam

A comprehensive dental exam will be performed by your dentist during your initial dental visit. At regular follow-up exams, your dentist and hygienist will evaluate and examine the following:

  • diagnostic x-rays (radiographs):
  • Gum health
  • Tooth decay
  • Existing restorations
Professional Dental Cleaning

Professional dental cleaning (dental prophylaxis) is usually performed by Registered Dental Hygienists.  Your cleaning appointment will include a dental exam and the following:

  • Scaling and polishing to remove deposits and stains from your teeth
  • Oral hygiene instructions on how to care for your teeth and mouth post-treatment
  • Fluoride treatment, if necessary
Prevention of Gum disease
  1. Brush your teeth twice a day
  2. Floss and use diluted mouthwash every day
  3. Visit your dentist or dental hygienist every 6 months for professional cleaning
  4. Maintain a healthy well-balanced diet and lifestyle.
  5. Stop smoking

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