Gum & Perio Disease

Gum & Perio Disease Explained


Periodontal disease is a progressive and chronic disease that affects millions of American adults.2 Give patients the full story and explain to them how periodontal disease manifests at both the microbial and clinical levels, even though they may have little to no discomfort.3,4

arestin perio scaling root planing infected inflamed tooth 2

Microbial level:

  • Unhealthy balance of bacteria within the dental biofilm3


Clinical level (visual or physical signs)5:

  • Destruction of tissue (eg, increased pocket depth [PD], altered gingival morphology, attachment loss)


Patients should understand the progression of periodontal disease and that it’s primarily caused by a bacterial infection.6

Here’s what could happen:

Other important points you may want to consider when discussing periodontal disease with patients are:

  • The gums and underlying bone of the jaw provide the foundation for teeth and dental work
  • Harmful bacteria have infected the gums and formed “pockets” or gaps between the teeth and gums6
  • The pockets are a sign of periodontal disease and, if left untreated, can damage the foundation of teeth, possibly leading to infection of additional tooth sites6
  • Like many other bacterial infections, consider an antibiotic as part of treatment


REFERENCES: 1. Data on file. OraPharma, Inc. Periodontal disease patient study. Prepared by Olson Research Group, Inc. May 2011. 2. Eke PI, Dye B. Assessment of self-report measures for predicting population prevalence of periodontitis. J Periodontol. 2009;80(9):1371-1379. 3. Socransky SS, Haffajee AD, Cugini MA, Smith C, Kent RL. Microbial complexes in subgingival plaque. J Clin Periodontol. 1998;25:134-144. 4. Socransky SS, Haffajee AD. Dental biofilms: difficult therapeutic targets. Periodontol 2000. 2002;28:12-55. 5. Armitage GC. Periodontal diseases: diagnosis. Ann Periodontol. 1996;1(1):37-215. 6. Page RC. Periodontal diseases: a new paradigm. J Dent Educ. 1998;62(10):812-821.