Prevention is the key to preventing periodontal diseaseWhat is Periodontal Disease?

Periodontal disease is the deterioration of the gums and bone surrounding a tooth. Gum disease can occur around a single tooth or be spread out throughout the entire mouth. It’s effects can be devastating and permanent.

Just as a foundation supports a house,, the periodontia supports the teeth.  Everyone knows that a crack or erosion of the foundation can ruin a home. But it’s not widely understood that the same holds true for our teeth.  We must take all steps to ensure the health and longevity of the gums and bone that support our teeth.

What is the cause of Periodontal Disease?

Periodontal disease is almost completely caused by oral bacteria.  Everyone has bacteria in their mouths.  Their visible impact is seen everyday in the form of plaque.  When you wake up in the morning, you will feel a sticky plaque over your teeth. This plaque is a product of bacteria. It’s a means to stick itself to your teeth. Not only is this plaque the first step in tooth decays, but it is a terrible irritant to the gums.

Plaque causes inflammation of the gums.  The inflammation process can lead to gum recession and ultimately bone loss.  Once you’ve lost the bone supporting the teeth, you’ve lost the teeth.

Stages of periodontal disease

How can we stop Periodontal Disease?

The most important step in stopping periodontal disease is to remove the plaque. That’s why you hear of the importance of the six month cleaning. Regular cleanings will remove the plaque and tartar before they can cause periodontal disease.

What if Periodontal Disease is already present?

The first thing to do remains the same but perhaps in a larger scale.  A scaling and root planing allows Dr. Sycamore to clean deep down under the gums to get every particle of plaque and tartar. Scaling and root planing is sometimes called a “deep cleaning” It is usually done under local anesthetic over two appointments. It also necessitates a follow-up visit to determine if the scaling helped to resolve the periodontal issues.

While scaling and root planing is usually enough, some patients will need more treatment. A periodontal surgery is sometimes required to repair some of the bone that may be damaged by the periodontal disease. Bone grafts can also be done to minimize the effects of bone loss. A specialist called a periodontist can help when needed.


Periodontal disease is awful. Prevention is the key to avoiding the damage it can do. So be sure to make regular dental visits and don’t hesitate to ask any questions about brushing, flossing and oral hygiene. That’s why we’re here!