How to Protect Your Smile from Advanced Gum Disease

Young couple embracing and smiling

Do you have gum disease? If so, you’re not alone. About half of Americans over the age of 30 have periodontitis, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Periodontitis is the advanced form of gum disease that causes your gums to pull away from your teeth. It also increases your risk of tooth loss, which is why it’s important to schedule an appointment with our office at the first sign of gum disease.

Continue reading to learn how to protect your smile from advanced gum disease. We’ll also tell you how scaling and root planing can help prevent the symptoms of periodontitis from worsening.

Stages of Gum Disease

Gingivitis is the earliest and most treatable stage of gum disease. The cure for gingivitis is to brush your teeth twice a day, floss once a day, and see our dentist at least every 6 months for a professional teeth cleaning. Periodontitis, on the other hand, is irreversible.

Periodontitis deteriorates the bone structure supporting your teeth and causes your gums to recede, putting you at higher risk for tooth loss. At this stage, the only thing our dentist can do is mitigate the symptoms of periodontitis through scaling and root planing.

Recognize the Signs of Gum Disease

Gum disease is caused by untreated plaque and tartar buildup on your teeth. The bacteria are enough to irritate your gums and cause them to bleed more easily.

The best way to treat gum disease is to catch it in its early stages. Unfortunately, many people are unaware they have gum disease until the next time they see their dentist.

Symptoms of gum disease include:

  • Tender or swollen gums
  • Bleeding gums
  • Receding gums
  • Loose teeth
  • Perpetual bad breath

Dental checkups are so important because they give our dentist the chance to diagnose gingivitis before it develops into periodontitis. Keep in mind that some people may be asymptomatic, meaning that they show no symptoms of gum disease until it’s too late.


One of the main causes of gum disease is not following a healthy oral hygiene routine. If you have recently been diagnosed with gum disease, you’ll need to make sure you brush your teeth twice a day, floss once daily, and swish fluoride mouth rinse. The best way to slow down the progression of gum disease is to remove dental plaque from the surface of your teeth and gums.

You’ll also want to make sure you see our dentist every 6 months for a dental exam and teeth cleaning. Depending on the severity of your case, our dentist may find it necessary to schedule appointments more frequently.


If you have periodontitis, you’ll notice your gums starting to pull away from your teeth. Receding gums deepen the pockets around your teeth and get filled with dental plaque. Thankfully, our dentist can remove dental plaque above and below the gum line through a procedure called scaling and root planing. During this procedure, our dentist will also smooth out tooth roots so gums have a better chance of reattaching to teeth.


As a last resort, our dentist may recommend a surgical procedure to slow down the harmful effects of periodontal disease. Surgical procedures used to treat periodontitis include gum grafts, bone grafts, and pocket reductions. It may be necessary to see a specialist who is experienced in how to surgically treat advanced gum disease.

Schedule an Appointment with Pure Dental

Dr. Dawn Baker is a dentist in Gahanna, OH who offers scaling and root planing to relieve symptoms of periodontitis. To request an appointment with Pure Dental, call (614) 475-7580.


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