Periodontal disease - what is it and are you at risk?

Gum disease is a common occurrence in the mouth. It can manifest itself as gingivitis or periodontitis. It is a direct result of irregular brushing and limited or no flossing daily.  Gum disease occurs when plaque accumulates on the teeth and then becomes hard known as calculus. When this is left untreated it progresses to periodontal disease. Symptoms such as bleeding gums and bad breath are early signs.

What are some risk factors for Periodontal Disease?


Diabetes manipulates the sugar in a person’s bloodstream and thus continuous change in that can lead to an increase in bacterial load in the oral cavity. Additionally an individual with diabetes is more susceptible to bleeding gums and cavities.

Heart Disease:

Periodontal disease has been shown to have a correlation with heart disease. The research has not shown a clear correlation, but there is a relationship.

Research has shown that gum disease has a relationship with acute cerebrovascular ischemia, and individuals who have suffered from a stroke are at an increased risk of gum disease.

Individuals who have not been to the dentist is over a year

Individuals who don’t see their general dentist every six months are at high risk of having Gingivitis or Periodontitis.

Symptoms of Gum Disease:

Some of these include:

  • Bad breath not resolved by mouth wash.
  • Red and swollen gums.
  • Bleeding gums that are also tender to the touch.
  • Pain while chewing.,
  • Loose teeth


Gum disease can be diagnosed by your general dentist. Some of the things that we look out for are:

  1. Signs of inflammation
  2. Deep pocketing. This is usually checked with a probe specifically designed for measuring pockets that exist. The pockets in healthy teeth are 1 to 3 millimeters in width. Anything greater than that is a sign of gum disease.
  3. Radiographs/Xrays to confirm if there is evidence of bone loss.


Brushing twice per day and flossing regularly goes a long way towards keeping gum disease away. If you  have been diagnosed with Periodontal disease, you dentist will discuss non invasive treatment that is called Scaling and Root Planing or Gum Infection Therapy. It is important that after this treatment you seek periodontal maintenance visits with your dentist every 3-4months. If your periodontal disease is severe, your dentist may refer you to a periodontist.

If you have yet to see a dentist or you are looking for a new dental home, come check out our practice. Simply give us a call at 614-808-3688 or schedule online 24/7 on our website. We serve the New Albany, Westerville, Gahanna, Blacklick, Johnstown, Reynoldsburg and the general Columbus area. We can’t wait to meet you.

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