Gum Disease


Gum disease is a bacterial infection of the gums and tissues that support your teeth. It is also called periodontal disease. When teeth are not routinely brushed and flossed plaque and tartar build up. Gingivitis and periodontitis are the two stages of gum disease. Gingivitis affects only the gums. It is a mild form of gum disease, and if properly treated, may be reversed. Left untreated, gingivitis turns into periodontitis. Bacteria penetrate into the deeper pockets of tissue where bone and membrane support your teeth during this more destructive stage of the disease. The more severe periodontitis can lead to tooth loss and serious health problems.

Research shows that 47.2 percent of American adults over the age of 30 have mild, moderate or severe gum disease. Gum disease is the leading cause of adult tooth loss. It also has a direct relation to heart disease, diabetes and new research also suggests that there may be links to gum disease and Alzheimers/dementia.It is also possible to have gum disease without experiencing any symptoms! Ultimately, the best way to avoid or manage gum disease is by practicing good oral hygiene and visiting your dentist regularly.

What are some risk factors?

If you have these risk factors you may be at risk for gum disease:

What are some warning signs?

Because pain does not always accompany warning signs gum disease is considered a “silent” disease . See Patriot Dental if you experience:

How do we treat gum disease?

The stage of your infection and the amount of deterioration will determine how Dr. Nawiesniak and his team treat you. Dr. Nawiesniak or his hygienist will discuss your treatment options, answer questions, and explain what happens after reviewing your digital xrays and performing a thorough periodontal exam. They will go over what to expect:

Non-Surgical Treatment:

Scaling and root planing is the most well-known type of non-surgical treatment. This under-the-gum procedure involves a careful removal of plaque and tarter from the tooth roots. Your hygienist will remove harmful bacteria and irritants from deep beneath your gums to prevent plaque from accumulating again during this procedure.

Surgical Treatment:

To eliminate bone infections or to regenerate lost bone Dr. Nawiesniak or a periodontist he refers you to may perform periodontal surgery. The most common surgical treatments include:

Pocket Reduction

Local anesthetic is first applied before this procedure. The gum tissue is folded back to expose deeper tissues. In some cases, irregular surfaces of the damaged bone are smoothed to limit areas where disease-causing bacteria can hide. This allows the gum tissue to better reattach to healthy bone. Harmful bacteria are removed and the gum tissue is then closed and sutured in place.

Bone Regeneration

Before the procedure a local anesthetic is applied. Gum tissue is folded back to expose deeper tissues. Then disease-causing bacteria are removed. To encourage your body’s natural ability to regenerate bone the dentist may place a membrane, bone graft or tissue-stimulating proteins. Excess gum and bone tissues are then reshaped to expose more of the natural tooth. This can be done to one tooth (to even out the gumline) or to several teeth (to expose your natural, broad smile). Gum tissue is then closed and sutured in place.

If you have any concerns that you may have gum disease please call our office at 615-444-2034 to schedule an appointment.