Periodontal diseases are infections of the gums, which gradually lead to the destruction of the support of your natural teeth. These diseases affect more than 80% of Americans by age 45.

Dental plaque is the primary cause of gum disease. Bacteria found in plaque produce enzymes and toxins which injure the gums. Injured gums turn red, swell and bleed easily. If this injury is prolonged, the gums separate from the teeth, causing pockets (spaces) to form.

Plaque can also harden into a rough, porous substance known as calculus (tartar).  This can occur both above and below the gum line. As periodontal diseases progress, the supporting gum tissue and bone that holds teeth in place deteriorate.

Diseases that interfere with the body’s immune system may worsen the condition of the gums. If you suffer from an uncontrolled systemic disease such as osteoporosis, diabetes, immune system deficiency or others, seeing a periodontist can help you avoid gum disease.

  • Types of Gum Disease

    Types of Gum Disease

    Periodontal (gum) diseases, including gingivitis and periodontitis, are serious infections that, left untreated, can lead to tooth loss. The word periodontal literally means “around the tooth.” Periodontal disease is a chronic bacterial infection that affects the gums and bone supporting the teeth. Periodontal disease can affect one tooth or many teeth. It begins when the

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  • Symptoms of Gum Disease

    Symptoms of Gum Disease

    Persistent swollen, red or bleeding gums, tooth sensitivity, and bad breath are among the warning signs of periodontal disease, commonly known as gum disease. Gum disease is often silent, meaning symptoms may not appear until an advanced stage of the disease. However, warning signs of gum disease include the following: Red, swollen or tender gums

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  • Fallacies & Facts

    Fallacies & Facts

    FALLACY: Tooth loss is a natural part of aging. FACT: With good oral hygiene and regular professional care, your teeth are meant to last a lifetime. However, if left untreated, periodontal (gum) disease can lead to tooth loss. It is the primary cause of tooth loss in adults 35 and over. FALLACY: People who have

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  • Main Cause of Gum Disease: Bacteria

    Main Cause of Gum Disease: Bacteria

    The main cause of gum disease is bacterial plaque, a sticky, colorless film that constantly forms on your teeth. In order to keep your teeth and gums healthy, daily cleaning is required in the form of brushing and flossing. If the plaque is not removed, it hardens into a rough, porous deposit called calculus, or

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  • Genetics


    Research proves that up to 30% of the population may be genetically susceptible to gum disease. Despite aggressive oral care habits, these people may be six times more likely to develop periodontal disease.

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  • Attitude Towards Health

    Attitude Towards Health

    Lack of information makes it more difficult to understand a complex, progressive, and chronic disease. The poor knowledge about the role of the mouth and the relationship between periodontal disease and systemic conditions difficult the appropriate treatment for the patient.  

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  • Smoking


    Smokers who smoked less than a half a pack per day were almost three times more likely than nonsmokers to have periodontitis. Those who smoked more than a pack and a half per day had almost six times the risk of getting periodontal disease. Research also shows that users of tobacco products are more likely

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  • Alcohol


    Patients who drink regularly were up to 27 percent more vulnerable to increased risk of periodontal disease. The risk appears to be dose related.

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  • Diet


    A diet high in calcium, whole grains and Vitamin C can help to prevent against periodontal disease.

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  • Medications


    Older adults are likely to take medications that can impact oral health and affect dental treatment. Common medications such as antidepressants, antihistamines, diuretics, pain killers, and high blood pressure medications can cause side effects. For example: Dry mouth Soft tissue changes Taste changes Gingival overgrowth Dry mouth (Xerostomia) leaves the mouth without enough saliva to wash

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  • Pregnancy & Puberty

    Pregnancy & Puberty

    Hormonal changes can cause the gums to become red and tender and bleed more easily. This may worsen any pre-existing periodontal disease. Recent studies suggest Periodontal Disease can lead to pre-term low birth weight. Your periodontist will be able to help prevent gum disease during pregnancy or puberty.

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  • Stress


    Stress can make it more difficult for your body to fight infections, including periodontal disease. Recent studies confirm the association between stress and periodontal disease. If you lead a stressful life, see a periodontist.

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  • Diabetes


    People with uncontrolled diabetes may have more severe periodontal disease. In addition, untreated periodontal disease can make it tougher for uncontrolled diabetics to keep their diabetes under control. If you are a diabetic, a periodontist can help keep your gums healthy and possibly help you keep your diabetes under better control.  

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  • Heart Disease

    Heart Disease

    Risks for heart disease include smoking, high cholesterol, being overweight and having high blood pressure or hypertension. Today, there is evidence mounting that shows periodontal disease may increase your risk for heart disease as well. Several theories exist to explain the link between periodontal disease and heart disease. One theory is that oral bacteria can

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  • Make an Appointment by Phone: (954) 771-9090.

    Each periodontal case is different.  Let’s discuss yours by scheduling an appointment with Dr. Cook.