Gum Disease Specialist

Gum Disease Q & A


What is gum disease?

Also known as periodontal disease, gum disease begins with bacterial growth in your mouth that builds up and destroys the gum tissue that holds your teeth into place, often leading to decay and tooth loss.

Unfortunately, while gum disease affects close to 75 percent of adults to some degree, it is often mistaken for less serious conditions, like gingivitis — plaque buildup in the gums that causes gum inflammation. Unlike gingivitis, gum disease cannot be treated with professional cleanings or better oral health practices.

What causes gum disease?

While poor oral hygiene is typically to blame in most gum disease cases, there are several other risk factors and causes to watch out for, including:

Tobacco use

Smoking cigarettes prevents your gum tissue from repairing itself properly, leading to a buildup of plaque in the mouth.

Hormonal changes

Your gums are more sensitive and susceptible to gingivitis and gum disease during menstruation, pregnancy, and menopause.

Certain medications

The anticonvulsant drug Dilantin and the anti-angina medications Procardia and Adalat have been known to stifle the flow of saliva, which causes a buildup of plaque in the mouth.


Any illness that affects your body’s immune system, such as cancer, chronic autoimmune diseases, or HIV, puts you at a higher risk of developing oral infections.

How is gum disease treated?

In addition to better oral health practices and regular visits for routine dental cleanings, The Diablo Dental Group offers two effective treatments for gum disease:

Supportive periodontal therapy

Supportive periodontal therapy is a cleaning procedure that completely eliminates excess plaque deposits that cause gum tissue inflammation. Depending on the severity of your case, your dentist may recommend local anesthesia. First, your dentist will remove plaque buildup above the gum line with scaling tools. Next, they will tackle any pockets of plaque you have hiding below the gum line. This ultra-deep cleaning can help give your gums a clean slate.

Laser-assisted scaling and root planing

For more severe cases of periodontal disease, The Diablo Dental Group has invested in a diode laser that vaporizes bacteria and removes diseased tissue selectively to remove bacteria without damaging your surrounding gum tissue. This targeted procedure allows the gum to heal and reattach to the bone or tooth surface naturally. Laser-assisted scaling and root planing works to treat gum recession and disease and also cleans the roots of your teeth.

Gum disease is a serious condition that may worsen heart disease or diabetes if left untreated. To learn more about your treatment options, call The Diablo Dental Group or book an appointment online today.