Periodontal disease is a result of excess amounts of plaque on your teeth that may have accumulated below the gum line. Plaque is caused by a buildup of the naturally occurring bacteria in our mouths. Normally plaque can be easily removed by daily brushing and flossing; however, the plaque that lasts through this daily routine can continue to build allowing tartar to form, which cannot be easily removed. The presence of tartar in the mouth can cause the gums to become inflamed, bleed, and recede, as well as become very painful and sore. If these symptoms (most commonly referred to as symptoms of gingivitis) are left unchecked, periodontal disease can develop, causing permanent damage to the gums and structures of the mouth.
Periodontal therapy can take various forms, but the goal is always to restore diseased tissues to health. Gum (periodontal) disease can spread from the gums to the bone that supports the teeth, and may even cause tooth loss in the most severe cases. There are very effective therapies to combat this, ranging from scalings (deep cleanings) that remove plaque and calculus (tartar) from beneath the gum line, to surgical repair of lost gum and bone tissue. If you are diagnosed with advanced periodontal disease, a referral to a specialist may be needed.