Periodontal FAQs

What is periodontal disease?
Periodontal disease is a bacterial infection that destroys the fibers and bone that hold the teeth in place.

Who is a periodontist?
A periodontist is a dentist who specializes in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of periodontal disease and in the placement of dental implants.

What is the relationship between tobacco and periodontal disease?
Studies show tobacco use is a significant risk factor in the development and progression of periodontal disease. Smokers are more likely than non-smokers to have calculus form on their teeth, have deeper pockets between the teeth and gums, and lose more of the bone and tissue that support the teeth.

What are the warning signs of periodontal disease?
Early signs of gum disease include red, swollen, tender or bleeding gums.

What are pockets?
Bone and gum tissue should fit snugly around the teeth. Periodontal disease destroys this supporting tissue and bone, forming pockets around the teeth. Bacteria collects inside the pockets resulting in further bone and tissue loss.

Is periodontal disease genetic?
Research shows that as much as 30% of the population may be genetically susceptible to gum disease.

Is periodontal disease contagious?
Research suggests that bacteria that causes periodontal disease is passed through saliva. If one family member has periodontal disease, it is recommended that all family members see a dental professional for a periodontal disease screening.