What is Periodontal Disease?

Do you have gum disease (also called Periodontitis or Periodontal Disease)? Over 175 million Americans suffer from Gum Disease, which is larger than the number of Americans with cancer, heart disease or even arthritis.  Some doctors estimate that 85% of people have gum disease. 

How do you know if you have Periodontitis? Healthy gums are firm and pale pink and fit snugly around teeth.  Signs and symptoms of periodontitis can include:

  • Swollen or puffy gums
  • Bright red, dusky red or purplish gums
  • Gums that feel tender when touched
  • Gums that bleed easily
  • Pink-tinged toothbrush after brushing
  • Spitting out blood when brushing or flossing your teeth
  • Bad breath
  • Pus between your teeth and gums
  • Loose teeth or loss of teeth
  • Painful chewing
  • New spaces developing between your teeth
  • Gums that pull away from your teeth (recede), making your teeth look longer than normal; or
  • A change in the way your teeth fit together when you bite.

Gums can become red, swollen and bleed easily. However, some patients have no symptoms at all.

A tooth with periodontal disease

Gum disease a bacterial infection and is serious. In fact, the #1 cause of tooth loss is gum disease. Perhaps unsurprising having an uncontrolled bacterial infection in your mouth has been linked to increases in risk of several other more serious diseases, like heart disease and stroke.


The traditional treatment for gum disease is scaling and root planing at your dentist.  Its known as non-surgical periodontal therapy or a “deep cleaning.” It involves removal of dental plaque and calculus and then smoothing, or planing, of the surfaces of the roots, removing cementum or dentine that is impregnated with calculus, toxins, or bacteria, the agents that cause inflammation.

Although scaling and root planing is an effective treatment for gum disease, its not the best treatment.  First, although anesthetic is used, patients can find it uncomfortable. Second, there is a more advanced technology that allows for *regeneration* of the tooth material lost to infection.

At Parkview, our Periodontal Specialist, Dr. Phillip Garrett is trained in the LANAP Protocol. LANAP uses a state of the art laser to vaporize the bacteria deep within the pockets of the gums while leaving healthy tissue intact. It also truly regenerates the attachment apparatus (new cementum, new periodontal ligament, and new alveolar bone) on a previously diseased root surface. It is fast, nearly painless and consistently removes periodontal disease.

Here’s how it works: a tiny laser fiber (about the thickness of three hairs) is inserted between the tooth and the gum, and the infection is cleared away without cutting or stitching of the gums. The tooth roots are then thoroughly cleaned of tartar and plaque, and the laser is used again with a different setting to create a stable, firm blood clot to seal the pocket. The dentist treats one half of the patient’s mouth at each session and most patients are able to drive themselves back to work or home following the procedure


Parkview Dentistry strives to make every patient’s experience as comfortable and pleasant as possible. Before we proceed with your treatment, our staff meets with you to discuss your options. You are never under any pressure to make a decision right away. We encourage you to ask us questions and to go over your options as much as you wish. As part of our service, our clients will also enjoy the following benefits:

  • Experience: Dr. Phillip Garrett is a member of the ADA, a Diplomate of the American Board of Periodontology and and the American Academy of Periodontology.
  • Patience: Nervous patients can be made to feel more at ease by our trained staff.
  • Flexibility: We make appointments according to your schedule.

When you get treatment for gum disease, you’ll be amazed by the difference a gentle dentist can make. Our team will assist you in every aspect of this process, from the financial details to the post-procedure care instructions.