Periodontal diseases are infections of the gums, which gradually destroy the support of your natural teeth. Dental plaque is the primary cause of gum disease in genetically susceptible individuals.  As there is a genetic link to Periodontal Disease it may occur more often amongst members of the same family.

Bacteria found in plaque produce toxins or poisons, which irritate the gums. This may cause them to turn red, swell and bleed easily. If this irritation is prolonged, the gums separate from the teeth, causing pockets (spaces) to form. Plaque can also harden into a rough, porous substance known as calculus (or tartar). This can occur both above and below the gum line.


As periodontal diseases progress, the supporting gum tissue and bone that holds teeth in place deteriorate. If left untreated, this leads to loose teeth and tooth loss.

However, don’t be fooled. With periodontal disease, bleeding, redness and swelling are not always present. Further, pain is usually not always associated with periodontal disease.

Preventing Gum Disease

Adults past the age of 35 lose more teeth to gum diseases than from cavities. Three out of four adults are affected at some time in their life. The best way to prevent cavities and Periodontal Diseases is by good tooth brushing and flossing techniques, performed daily, and regular professional examinations and cleanings.

If the disease has progressed to more advanced stages, a special periodontal cleaning called root planing (deep cleaning) will be recommended.  It is usually done one side of the mouth at a time while the area is numb.  In this procedure, tartar, plaque, and toxins are removed from above and below the gum line (scaling) and rough spots on root surfaces are made smooth (planing).  This procedure helps gum tissue to heal and pockets to shrink.  Medications, special medicated mouth rinses, and an electric tooth brush may be recommended to help control infection and healing.

Unfortunately, even with the most diligent home dental care, people still can develop some form of periodontal disease. Once this disease starts, professional intervention is necessary to prevent its progress. Other important factors affecting the health of your gums include: Tobacco, Diabetes, Stress Clenching and grinding teeth Medication Poor nutrition.