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What are Periodontal Diseases?
What are Periodontal Diseases?

Periodontal diseases are any destructive diseases of the gums and the surrounding jawbone that gradually destroy the bone supporting your natural teeth and untreated results in tooth loss.

There is also a strong correlation between Periodontal Diseases and Cancer, Birth Defect, Cardiovascular /Heart Diseases and Diabetes!

Periodontal Disease is a very slow process that often remains unnoticed and untreated. 70% of the US population suffers from untreated periodontal diseases.

How are Periodontal Diseases diagnosed?

Periodontal diseases are diagnosed during your periodontal examination by either by Dr. Halim or one of his skilled dental hygienists. This type of exam should always be a part of your regular dental check-up and should be done at least once a year.

What is involved in a periodontal examination?

A periodontal probe (small dental instrument) is gently used to measure the sulcus (pocket or space) between the tooth and the gums. The depth of a healthy sulcus measures three millimeters and does not bleed. As periodontal disease progresses, the pockets usually get deeper and involve the supporting bone structure

Dr. Halim or one of his hygienists will use pocket depths, amount of bleeding, inflammation, tooth mobility, etc., to make a diagnosis of one of the follwoing:


Gingivitis, while not technically a periodontal disease, is the pre stage of periodontal disease. The problems are still limited to the gums where plaque and its toxin by-products irritate the gums, making them tender, inflamed, and likely to bleed.


Periodontitis means that your jawbone has started to deteriorate! Plaque hardens into calculus (tartar) and as calculus and plaque continue to build up, the gums begin to recede from the teeth. Deeper pockets form between the gums and teeth and become filled with bacteria. The gums become very irritated, inflamed, and bleed easily. Slight to moderate bone loss may be present.

Advanced Periodontitis

As Periodontitis worsens the teeth lose support, accordingly the gums, bone, and periodontal ligaments continue to deteriorate. Unless treated, the affected teeth will become loose and may be lost in the future. Generalized moderate to severe bone loss may be present.

How can periodontal disease be prevented?

The best way to prevent cavities and periodontal disease is through the combination of daily tooth brushing and flossing along with regular professional cleanings and examinations. Even with the most diligent home dental care, people can still develop some form of periodontal disease. Once this disease starts, professional intervention is necessary to prevent its progress.

Initial Periodontal Therapy consists of Scalling and Root Planning (known as Deep Cleaning). The procedure is done by one of our had-selected Dental Hygienist under close supervision by Dr. Halim. The outcome of this initial treatment is re-evaluated after 21 days to track the results of the treatment and progress of the disease. Following successful periodontal disease treatment, periodontal maintenance therapy is required to prevent further progression of the disease.

Other important factors affecting the health of your gums include:

  • Tobacco usage
  • Diabetes
  • Stress

  • Clenching and grinding teeth
  • Medication
  • Poor nutrition

What types of maintenance should be practiced after treatment?

Once your periodontal therapy has been completed, Dr. Halim will recommend that you have regular maintenance cleanings (Periodontal Maintenance Therapy), usually four times a year. At these cleaning appointments, the pocket depths will be carefully checked to ensure that they are healthy. Plaque and calculus that is difficult to remove with home care will be removed from above and below the gum line.

Is Periodontal Maintenance Therapy Really Necessary?

Periodontal diseases are the fundamental cause for tooth loss in adults in the United States. Periodontal diseases have recently been associated with many other health risks such as cardiovascular\heart diseases and diabetes. Once you have experienced periodontal diseases, it is important to remain dedicated to a permanent schedule of proper home and professional oral care. Periodontal maintenance will maintain your optimal oral health and prevent the need for a more comprehensive, periodontal surgical treatment.

With through and proper periodontal treatment and an ongoing program of periodontal maintenance therapy, our doctors can give you the opportunity to maintain your strong, beautiful smile and overall good health!

Still have questions? Contact us or Make an Appointment.