Periodontal Care

What is periodontal disease?
Periodontitis is an infection of the gums caused by poor oral hygiene. It is also known as gum disease and typically develops when there is a buildup of plaque that then hardens and turns to tartar. When a person fails to brush and floss regularly or skips regular cleanings by a dentist, bacteria enter the gums and cause an infection. From there, a person will notice swelling, redness, and bleeding of the gums that will continually get worse without treatment.
Woman with curly hair covering mouth
Periodontal disease can only be diagnosed by a dental professional. To reach a diagnosis, a dentist will examine the gums and probe them to identify any pockets. They may also use tools like x-rays to determine the severity before you are referred to a periodontist.

Periodontal disease, or gum disease, can be treated successfully, but it requires intervention by a dental professional. The first treatment Dr. Wayman here at Wayman Family & Cosmetic Dentistry generally employs is a periodontal deep cleaning of the gums to prevent further damage to the gums and bones. This cleaning usually involves scaling and root planing, where when plaque is removed from underneath the gums and the roots of the teeth are smoothed out. Antibiotics are sometimes used in the form of a medicated mouthwash or topical treatment. In some severe cases, surgery or bone grafting may be required.


To maintain the health of your gums after gum disease treatments, it is crucial to continue regular dental exams and cleanings and keep all of your appointments with Dr. Wayman. You should also follow all instructions for self-care at home, such as using prescribed mouthwashes and toothpaste regularly.


Common Periodontal Care Questions

Once a person has been diagnosed with gum disease, it cannot go away on its own; it requires periodontal treatment.
No, periodontitis may begin as gingivitis, but periodontitis is a more advanced form of gum disease. Treatment can cure gingivitis to prevent it from turning into periodontitis.
If you notice symptoms like bad breath, loose teeth, bleeding gums, or pus under the gums, you should consult a professional to be evaluated for periodontal disease.