Periodontitis, or Periodontal disease, affects the tissue and bone that support and surround our teeth. It can lead to serious dental complications if left untreated.

Do I have Periodontal disease?

In the early stages, Periodontitis has very few symptoms and in many individuals the disease has progressed significantly before they seek treatment. Symptoms may include the following:

  • Redness or bleeding of gums while brushing teeth, using dental floss, or biting into hard food
  • Gum swelling that reoccurs
  • Spitting out blood after brushing teeth
  • Halitosis, or bad breath, and a persistent metallic taste in the mouth
  • Gingival recession, resulting in apparent lengthening of teeth
  • Loose teeth, in the later stages

During your routine check-up and cleaning visit, our hygienist uses a tool called a periodontal probe to measure gingival pockets (space below the gum-line). Depending on the measurement of these pockets and your X-rays , we can determine the severity of periodontal disease.  As periodontal diseases progresses, the supporting gum tissue and bone that holds teeth in place deteriorate.  If left untreated, this leads to tooth loss.  With periodontal disease, bleeding, redness, and swelling do not have to be present.  Furthermore, pain is usually not associated with periodontal disease.

Click on each image below to see the process of periodontal probing:


What causes Periodontal Disease?

Poor oral hygiene which allows dental plaque to build up, poor nutrition, some underlying medical conditions and smoking. There are other factors that exist, that’s why it is so important to speak with a professional about your overall health and not just dental hygiene habits. It is considered a disease in which the damage can be irreversible if left untreated too long.

Click on the images below to see the difference in appearance between healthy and unhealthy gums:

How can I prevent Periodontal disease?

  • Regular dental check-ups and cleanings with our hygienist
  • Brushing and flossing on a regular basis (at least 2x a day)
  • Using mouthwash, specifically medicated mouthwash if prescribed


Information provided by, images provided by Chairside 2009 dental video program