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Periodontal Therapy (Gum Treatment)

Periodontal Dentistry MadisonTotal Care Dental cares about your overall oral health and provides the best Madison dental health care services. One of the main things we watch for and treat is the common and destructive Periodontal (Gum) disease. Periodontal disease is an infection, resulting in the progressive destruction of the tissue and bone supporting the teeth. If not properly treated, this disease can severely affect your complete oral health. There are many early warning signs of periodontal disease, and our passionate Madison dentists are experts at spotting them from the start and providing the necessary treatment. Routine dental visits can help reduce your risk. Request an appointment online now or call us at 608-274-1911 for more information.

Studies have shown the following factors will increase your risk and/or severity of periodontal disease:

  • Smoking or Chewing Tobacco
  • Systemic Diseases – diabetes, cardiovascular disease, stroke, blood cell disorders, HIV infections and AIDS
  • Medications – steroids, anti-epilepsy drugs, cancer therapy drugs, blood pressure drugs and immunosuppressant therapy drugs
  • Puberty, Pregnancy and Oral Contraceptives that change hormone levels
  • Passing Saliva – from parents to children and between couples
  • Dental Bridges that no longer fit properly, crooked and/or crowded teeth or defective fillings and crowns holding plaque in place
  • Genetics


Certain disease-producing bacteria in plaque or biofilm can cause irritation and inflammation of your gums. Plaque or biofilm which hardens is called calculus or tartar and is impossible to remove with only your regular brushing and flossing. The bacteria live in and around the calculus and can start to invade the gum tissue. The pocket which forms where your gum and tooth meet tends to get deeper when periodontal disease is present. If the bacteria are not thoroughly cleaned out of the deepening pockets, they will keep invading the gums and bone, eventually leading to tooth loss.

Routine dental cleaning and checkups can significantly reduce your risks of periodontal disease. Our caring Madison dentists at Total Care Dental go above and beyond to ensure your complete oral health. Make an appointment today to keep your gums healthy and your smile bright.

Warning Signs:

  • Your gums bleeding when you floss
  • Red, swollen or tender gums
  • Persistent bad breath
  • Pus between the teeth and gums
  • Loose or separating teeth
  • A change in the way your teeth fit together when you bite
  • A change in the fit of your partial dentures


Our comprehensive Madison dentists will measure the pocket depth around each of your teeth while checking for periodontal disease. The depth of a healthy pocket is 3mm or less. During this examination we will evaluate how much bleeding is present. Bleeding can indicate the presence of disease. We also use digital x-rays to detect bone loss, ensuring nothing is missed when diagnosing your oral health.


Initial therapy for gum treatment by our Madison family dentists typically involves a specialized deep cleaning called scaling and root planning. This procedure removes the organized colonies of disease producing bacteria on the tooth and root surfaces. Periodontal treatment is designed to help gum tissue reattach to the tooth, shrinking the pocket depth and making the pockets more manageable to care for. After initial periodontal therapy, meticulous biofilm control and maintenance is required to keep the disease in remission. Routine cleanings and checkups are important to keep your gums and teeth healthy, and reduce your risk of returning periodontal disease flares. Visit your passionate Madison dentists at Total Care Dental regularly to maintain a healthy, happy smile.

Frequently Asked Questions about Gum Disease

Q: What are the stages of gum disease?

A: There are 3 stages to gum disease: gingivitis, periodontitis, and advanced periodontitis.

Q: Is gingivitis a periodontal disease?

A: Yes. Gingivitis is the first stage of gum disease, leading to periodontitis is left untreated. If you notice your gums are inflamed, bleed easily, or are otherwise irritated, make an appointment with our Madison dental clinic for an exam today.

Q: What are symptoms of periodontal disease?

A: The main symptoms of periodontal disease are painful, red, swollen gums. If your gums bleed or are sensitive while brushing, you might have gingivitis. As the disease progresses, the gums degenerate and the teeth become loose. Some may even begin to fall out in severe cases.

Q: Is there a treatment or cure to periodontal disease?

A: Yes, there are different treatment options depending on which stage of the disease you are in. For patients with gingivitis, you may only need a professional cleaning to start reversing the damage. In more severe cases, you may need surgery. Our dental associates will advise you to the best course of treatment for your level of periodontal disease.

Q: Is periodontal disease contagious?

A: Somewhat, since the bacteria which causes periodontal diseases can be spread through shared saliva. If you are suffering from a periodontal disease, do not share water bottles, straws, or utensils with others since it will bring them into direct contact with your saliva. Kissing can also lead to the spread of bacteria.

Q: Who is most at risk for periodontal disease?

A: Anyone can get periodontal disease, though there are some people are greater risk than others. Older patients are at greatest risk, especially those with poor dental hygiene habits. Patients with diabetes or a compromised immune system are more susceptible to periodontal diseases, as are those taking certain medications. Be sure to ask your doctor if any prescribed medications have a history of causing gum disease.

Hormonal changes from puberty, pregnancy, and menopause can also increase the likelihood of developing periodontal disease. Fortunately, this risk is only temporary. Ask your TCD dentist for advice on preventing gum disease during these times.

Q: Can young people get periodontal disease?

A: Yes, young people can get gum disease. While older individuals are at greater risk, there are several factors which can cause young adults and teens to develop the disease. Smoking, family history, and diet can all lead to young people getting gingivitis.

Q: Can smoking cause periodontal disease?

A: Any tobacco use can lead to periodontal disease. Chewing or smoking tobacco makes you twice as susceptible to some form of gum disease compared to those who do not use tobacco.

Q: Can periodontal disease be reversed?

A: Catching gingivitis early enough usually leads to more successful treatment and better health for your gums. If teeth are lost due to advanced periodontitis, they will have to be replaced with dental implants, veneers, a bridge, or partial dentures.

When patients receive treatment for periodontal disease, they should continue to schedule appointments with Total Care Dental to keep track of their recovery and ensure they do not get periodontal disease again.

Q: What do I do if I have periodontal disease?

A: Schedule an appointment with Total Care Dental right away if you believe you are suffering from periodontal disease.

Q: How can periodontal disease affect my overall health?

A: While periodontal disease can cause mouth pain and gum inflammation, it also affects the rest of the body if left untreated. As the gums and bones of the mouth wear away, bacteria is introduced into your blood stream and can lead to heart disease or a stroke.

Q: How is periodontal disease related to diabetes?

A: People with diabetes are at greater risk for developing gum disease due to low blood sugar or glucose imbalances. As an infection, periodontal disease makes blood sugar difficult to maintain for patients with diabetes.

Q: How can I afford periodontal disease treatment?

A: TCD financial plans allow Madison area patients to afford treatment even if they do not have insurance. We accept most form of payment, from cash to personal checks to most major credit cards. We are also proud to accept CareCredit cards and Illumisure.

Contact our Madison Dental Clinic for complete oral health care at 608-274-1911 or Request a Dental Appointment online!