Periodontal (Gum) Disease

Periodontal disease is one of the most common diseases among adults. It is caused by harmful bacterial growth that spreads deep into the gum and tooth roots. If left untreated, it can lead to tooth loss, pain, and other serious health issues. At Helena Family Dentistry, we offer effective periodontal disease treatment to help restore and save your smile.


Periodontal disease is a bacterial infection that affects the gums and bone supporting the teeth. Gingivitis, the initial stage of periodontal disease, is characterized by inflammation of the gums caused by bacteria in the mouth. Gingivitis can often be reversed with proper hygiene and regular dental checkups. When it is not treated or progresses to periodontal disease, the gums recede around the tooth roots and cause tooth and bone loss.


Periodontal disease affects people of all ages, but it is more common in older adults. Other factors that increase your risk for periodontal disease include:

  • Smoking and chewing tobacco
  • Having a compromised immune system
  • Inherited gum disease
  • Having diabetes or poor circulation
  • Not brushing and flossing the teeth properly
  • Having certain oral diseases like oral cancer or herpes simplex infection
  • Not seeing a dentist on a regular basis
  • Using certain medications like corticosteroids or anticonvulsants
  • Oral piercings or braces wear on these tissues over time as well
  • Failed dental fillings or crowns that weaken the jawbone


The first signs of periodontal disease are gums that are red, swollen, soft, or bleed easily when you brush your teeth or floss. You may also notice that your teeth feel loose when you bite down on something hard. In addition to these symptoms, you may also experience bad breath because of bacteria in your mouth. Over time, periodontal disease can cause tooth loss if not treated promptly. 


It's important to treat periodontal disease early to prevent it from progressing to the advanced stages and causing tooth loss. We offer several treatment options to help reverse gum disease and prevent tooth loss. Your dentist will determine which treatment is best for you based on your individual needs after a comprehensive exam and diagnostic testing. 

Scaling and Root Planing 

Scaling is a non-surgical procedure that involves removing plaque and tartar buildup below the gum line using special instruments to clean below your gum line and at your tooth roots. Next, our dental hygienists perform root planing to smooth out rough spots on the tooth roots caused by plaque buildup underneath them. 

Gum Therapy 

To further eliminate plaque from under your gums, we will apply antimicrobial medications directly onto your gums where they will have direct contact with bacteria that causes infection. 

To know more about periodontal disease, visit us at Helena, MT, or call us at (406) 443-6160 to schedule an appointment with the dentist and we will be happy to help.