What Causes Periodontal Disease?

Bacteria live in a clear, thin, sticky coating on your teeth called plaque, which continuously forms in your mouth. The bacteria in plaque are the problem because they produce toxins and enzymes that can inflame your gums, damaging the attachment of the gums and bone to the tooth.


If this plaque is not removed on a daily basis by brushing and flossing, it can harden into tartar. Tartar is a rough, porous surface, which harbours even more bacteria. The hardened tartar can no longer be brushed or flossed away. Tartar can only be removed professionally by a dentist or hygienist.

Your Patient Guide

Gum Disease

Your Assessment


Treatment Details

Individualized treatment may include any of the following:


More Frequent Cleanings. It may take the bacteria at the base of the pocket up to three months to colonize into numbers able to destroy bone. Frequent cleanings can help prevent this build-up.


Scaling and Root Planing. Scaling is removing the calculus deposits from your teeth. Root planing is the smoothing of the root surfaces so that the gum tissue can reattach to the tooth.


Curettage. This process removes the soft tissue lining from the periodontal pocket, helping the gum tissue heal.


Gingivectomy. This surgical procedure details the removal of the periodontal pocket to allow easier access for cleaning.


Flap Surgery. Allows access to the root of the tooth for removal of the calculus, plaque and diseased tissue. The gum is then secured back into place.

How It All Starts?

Healthy gum tissue, or gingiva, is shaped like a collar around each tooth. At the point where the gingiva meets the tooth is a naturally occurring space called the sulcus.


The sulcus is about 1-3mm deep. Plaque that is not removed daily collects around the tooth and in the sulcus. Inflammation causes the sulcus to deepen and it becomes a pocket.


Deeper pockets are difficult to clean and become a haven for bacteria. Your gums eventually become inflamed and the bone supporting your teeth deteriorates. This eventually leads to the loosening, or loss of teeth.

Are You At Risk?

The time and effort you invest now to maintain your teeth will reward you over your entire lifetime!

Did You Know?

You may have periodontal disease and not realize it. This disease is the primary cause of the loss of teeth after age 35 with approximately 75% of adults being affected.

The Stages of Periodontal Disease


Red, swollen gums
Gums bleed upon brushing
3-4mm pockets
Accumulation of plaque and calculus
Process is reversible

Early Periodontal
Gum Disease

Greater inammation of the gums
Gums begin to recede from teeth
Irreversible bone loss
Up to 5mm pockets
Unpleasant breath or taste
Evident accumulation of plaque and calculus

Moderate Periodontal
Gum Disease

Gums recede and teeth appear longer
Root surface may be exposed and sensitive
Possible sore gums or tooth
Breath worsens; bad taste
5-6mm pockets
Bone loss 20-50%

Severe Periodontal Gum Disease

Loose or drifting teeth
More than 50% bone loss
Signicant plaque and calculus
Bad taste; persistent bad breath
Tooth loss or decision to remove teeth

When the bone that supports the teeth deteriorates, it does not grow back.

This can play havoc for those who may want dentures or implants because a significant amount of jawbone is required for both. Also, once your teeth have been lost to disease, the jawbone can continue to degenerate.

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