Understanding Gum Disease and How a Periodontist Can Help

Sunnyvale sleep dentistry is a crucial aspect of maintaining your oral health, but it’s not just about getting a good night’s rest. Your gums are equally as important as your teeth when it comes to keeping your mouth healthy. Gum disease is a common problem that affects many people, and it’s important to understand what it is and how a periodontist can help you prevent or treat this condition.

What is Gum Disease?

Gum disease, also known as periodontal disease, is a bacterial infection that affects the gums and the bone that supports the teeth. It’s caused by the buildup of plaque on the teeth, which can lead to inflammation and eventually cause the gums to pull away from the teeth. This can create pockets between the teeth and gums, where bacteria can thrive and cause infection. If left untreated, gum disease can lead to tooth loss and other serious health problems.

What are the Symptoms of Gum Disease?

The symptoms of gum disease can vary depending on the severity of the condition. In its early stages, gum disease may not cause any noticeable symptoms. However, as the condition progresses, you may experience the following:

  • Bleeding gums when you brush or floss
  • Swollen, red, or tender gums
  • Receding gums
  • Bad breath or a bad taste in your mouth
  • Loose or shifting teeth

How Can a Periodontist Help?

A periodontist is a dental specialist who focuses on the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of gum disease. They receive additional training beyond dental school and are experts in treating all stages of gum disease.

Periodontists offer a variety of treatments to help prevent or treat gum disease, including:

  • Scaling and root planing: This deep cleaning procedure removes plaque and tartar from the teeth and root surfaces. It’s often the first step in treating gum disease.
  • Periodontal surgery: In more advanced cases of gum disease, surgery may be required to remove damaged tissue and promote healing.
  • Dental implants: If you’ve lost teeth due to gum disease, a periodontist can replace them with dental implants, which are a durable and natural-looking option.

How Can You Prevent Gum Disease?

Preventing gum disease starts with good oral hygiene habits. This includes brushing your teeth twice a day, flossing daily, and visiting your dentist for regular checkups and cleanings.

In addition to good oral hygiene, there are several other steps you can take to help prevent gum disease:

  • Avoid smoking or using tobacco products
  • Eat a healthy diet that’s low in sugar and high in nutrients
  • Manage stress, as stress can weaken your immune system and make it harder for your body to fight infection
  • Get enough sleep to help your body restore and repair itself


Gum disease is a serious condition that can lead to tooth loss and other health problems if left untreated. By practicing good oral hygiene habits, visiting your dentist regularly, and seeing a periodontist if necessary, you can help prevent and treat gum disease. If you’re experiencing any symptoms of gum disease, don’t wait to seek treatment – the earlier you seek help, the better your chances of preventing serious complications.