Gum Disease Treatments

Gum disease or periodontal disease is a common dental problem that can affect people of all ages. It often develops slowly and without any pain or discomfort. Gum disease can almost always be prevented and in its early states can be readily treated and typically reversed. The reversible form of gum disease is called Gingivitis, while the more serious and non-reversible form of gum disease is called Periodontitis and can result in the eventual loss of teeth.

Gum disease affects the attachment between the gums and teeth and starts with the buildup of plaque which contains bacteria. When plaque is not removed by brushing and flossing, it hardens into tartar which is not easily removed at home. Tartar can lead to an infection where the gums attach to the teeth, and at the early stages it is called Gingivitis. You may experience some bleeding on brushing and flossing but otherwise you probably will not notice anything out of the ordinary.

Over time, the infection breaks down the gum tissue that attaches to the teeth, resulting in “attachment loss.” At this point, you may notice swelling, bleeding or colour changes in your gums.  In addition to attachment loss, gum disease causes the bone that holds your teeth in place to break down too. If the disease is left untreated the teeth become loose and may eventually be lost.

Dental Diseases


The best way to deal with gum disease is prevention. Good brushing and flossing habits at home as well as regular check-ups and cleanings in our office will help to prevent this from even becoming an issue.


During your check-ups and cleanings, we may use an instrument called a “periodontal probe” to measure where your gums attach to your teeth. This is like a ruler for your gums. Healthy gums attach to teeth just below the edge of the gum. If your gums attach to your teeth below this point, it is a sign of gum disease. X-rays will also help us to determine the presence/severity of gum disease. If you have gum disease, removal of plaque and tartar at the dental office is the first step towards recovery. When gum disease is more serious, we may refer you t our in-house dental specialist called a periodontist. A periodontist has at least 3 years of extra university training in treating gum disease, and in restoring (or regenerating) bone and gum tissue that have been lost because of gum disease. A periodontist also treats serious forms of gum disease that do not get better with normal dental care. When serious gum disease is found, brushing and flossing become even more important.

Gum Disease Treatment