What You Need to Know About Periodontal Disease

What is Periodontal Disease?

Periodontal disease starts when harmful bacteria accumulate on your gums and lead to infection.

At its early stages, the condition is referred to as gingivitis. When not treated, it can advance to periodontitis and lead to tooth loss.

Gum disease doesn’t have to progress, though. Preventing and treating it is possible with the help of a good oral hygiene routine.

Causes of Periodontal Disease

Bacteria in the mouth combine with other substances and form a sticky, colorless film called plaque.

Over time, plaque hardens into tartar, which can only be removed by a dental professional. Tartar can gather and spread below the gum line and cause inflammation of the gums.

Here are more possible causes of gum disease:

  • Poor oral hygiene habits. Poor dental care habits can make a person more likely to develop gum issues.
  • Medical conditions. Illnesses that interfere with the body's immune system - such as diabetes, cancer, and HIV - can also make you more vulnerable to dental issues.
  • Hormonal changes. Pregnancy, menstruation, and menopause can also become contributing factors to periodontal disease.
  • Medications. Some medications reduce salivary flow and leave the dry mouth, which can make it easier for gum disease to develop.
  • Family history. Your family's history of oral diseases can also make you more likely to develop gum disease.
  • Poor-fitting dental appliance. Dentures or bridges that no longer fit properly, as well as damaged fillings, can also trigger gum disease.
  • Misaligned teeth. Having crooked or uneven teeth makes it harder to clean the mouth and hence contribute to the development of the periodontal disease.
  • Lifestyle. Smoking can also make you more susceptible to gum diseases.
  • Poor nutrition. Lack of vitamins and nutrients can also trigger periodontal diseases.

Signs You May Have Periodontal Disease

Symptoms and warning signs of gum disease include the following:

  • Persistent bad breath
  • Tender, swollen, or red gums
  • Difficulty or pain when chewing
  • Increased tooth sensitivity
  • Receding gums
  • Loose teeth
  • Bite irregularities
  • Changes in the way your oral appliance fits

Early gum disease usually doesn't cause discomfort or pain. Your dentist will be able to identify early signs and symptoms.

How to Treat Periodontal Disease

The first treatment for gum disease is professional dental hygiene cleanings. We remove substances on your teeth and gums. Then, we polish and apply fluoride to your teeth.

If you have deep pockets, we may perform deep cleanings to get rid of the tartar and bacteria buildup on teeth surfaces (scaling) and smoothen the tooth surface to discourage debris from accumulating further (root planing).

Before you go, we also advise you on how you can reduce bacterial deposits in your mouth. This includes brushing properly at least twice a day and flossing daily.

Depending on the extent of the gum disease, we may also prescribe antibiotics to help fight off infections.

We monitor your gums and follow up with you. If the pockets are still present, we may look into other treatment options, such as surgery.

One possible procedure is called flap surgery. We administer anesthesia, lift your gums, and clean the roots of your teeth thoroughly. Afterward, we stitch back your gums in place.

For more severe cases that involve bone loss, we may also perform bone grafting to recreate the lost bone or tissue.

Your cooperation is crucial in achieving long-term success for treatments.


To prevent periodontal diseases, it's important to:

  • Brush your teeth properly.
  • Use a toothbrush with soft bristles.
  • Replace your brush every 3-4 months or as soon as it starts to become frayed.
  • Floss daily.
  • Use an antibacterial mouth rinse or a product recommended by your dentist.
  • See your dentist and dental hygiene regularly.
  • Eat a balanced diet to strengthen your body’s immunity and ability to heal.
  • Manage health conditions, such as diabetes, that can impact your oral health.
  • Quit harmful habits, such as smoking.

How Your Dentist Can Help

We can stop periodontal disease through early detection. We can identify symptoms and assess your likelihood of developing gum diseases.

We examine your mouth, medical history, and also talk to you about your habits. We also measure the depth of the pockets around your tooth to determine the extent of the issue.

But overall, we don't only treat your teeth and gums. As a dental team, we also recommend little changes you can make daily to improve your oral health.

If you feel you're experiencing gum disease symptoms, get in touch with us to book an initial consultation. We encourage you to prepare a list of questions to make the most of your dental visit.

Our dental office is located in Winnipeg, MB and we’re always happy to welcome new patients.

Book an appointment today.

(204) 663-3423

(431) 999-AQUA

1565 Regent Ave W Unit 3,
Winnipeg, MB
R2C 3B3