What is gum disease?

Gum disease is the progressive destruction of the supporting structures of the teeth caused by the accumulation of plaque and tartar on the teeth releasing toxins and causing an inflammatory response leading to bleeding gums and bone loss.

Healthy Periodontium

Healthy gums

Healthy gums

Healthy gums have little or no plaque and tartar accumulation resulting in little or no inflammation in the gums, no bleeding during brushing and flossing and no loss of bone.

pre-Periodontal Disease gingivitis

Pre-periodontal disease gingivitis

Pre-periodontal disease gingivitis

Pre-periodontal disease also know as gingivitis is characterized by inflammation in the gums causing the gums to bleed during brushing and flossing. There is usually plaque and tartar present. Regular teeth cleaning and good oral hygiene usually correct the disease at this stage.

Early periodontal disease

Early Periodontal Disease

Early Periodontal Disease

Early Periodontal disease is characterized by the accumulation of plaque and tartar, bleeding gums when brushing and flossing caused by inflammation, and small amounts of bone loss at the crest of the bone, usually 1-2millimeters (the root of the tooth usually being around 10 millimeters total.) During the checkup, the hygienist will report 4mm pockets with bleeding. Scaling and Root Planing also know as Deep Cleaning usually treats this stage sucessfully

Moderate periodontal Disease

Moderate gum disease

Moderate gum disease

Moderate periodontal disease is characterized by the accumulation of plaque and tartar, bleeding gums when brushing and flossing caused by inflammation, and larger amounts of bone loss at the crest of the bone, usually 3-4 millimeters (the root of the tooth usually being around 10 millimeters total.) During the checkup, the hygienist will report 5-6mm pockets with bleeding. Scaling and Root Planing also known as Deep Cleaning will be attempted first and occasionally periodontal surgery is needed to successfully treat the disease process.

Advanced periodontal disease

Advanced gum disease

Advanced gum disease

Advanced periodontal disease is characterized by the accumulation of plaque and tartar, bleeding gums when brushing and flossing caused by inflammation, and extensive bone loss, more than 4 millimeters (the root of the tooth usually being around 10 millimeters total - so about half) and sometimes mobility meaning that the tooth is loose. During the checkup, the hygienist will report 7+mm pockets with bleeding. Periodontal surgery is needed at this point to treat this condition and tooth loss or tooth extraction may occur.