Dentists have learned that many people who have periodontal disease are unaware that they have it. The early stages of the disease don’t cause tremendous pain which is why it goes unnoticed. What is periodontal disease? It occurs when a patient’s gums become red and swollen and begin to bleed. It is caused when plaque is not properly removed and it begins to irritate the gums and bones.

Regular teeth cleaning and good oral hygiene are great ways to prevent periodontal disease which causes tooth loss and even more severe results such as pneumonia, diabetes, cardiovascular disease and stroke.

Patients who are experiencing one or more of the following symptoms are urged to contact the knowledgeable dentists at Summit Dental:

  • Tooth loss
  • Chronic bad breath
  • Pus-like build up around teeth
  • Tender gums and pain when brushing
  • Swollen and/or bleeding gums


Many have heard of gingivitis – which is the first stage of periodontal disease. The sign of gingivitis is when the gums become irritated by plaque making them swollen and tender. They may bleed when brushing. Periodontitis is when that plaque hardens and becomes tartar. It grows and gums start to pull away from the teeth creating bacteria-filled pockets between the teeth and gums. Some bone loss may occur at this stage.

Severe Periodontitis occurs when the gums and bone erode and are unable to support the teeth causing them to become loose. Treatment at this stage is VERY important.


Your dentist will choose the method of treatment based on the level of severity. A few regular cleanings may fight gingivitis and mild periodontitis but more severe periodontitis will require a special deep cleaning at the gum line and in the pockets where bacteria has accumulated. The deep cleaning allows the gums to heal.