Gum Disease Therapy in State College

Infections of the teeth and gums must be controlled to preserve a healthy, attractive smile. We partner with the area's most experienced periodontist to provide comprehensive periodontal treatment. We offer both surgical and non-surgical periodontal therapy conveniently right in our office through the services of Dr. John Martin, DDS.

What is Gum Disease?

Periodontal disease, most commonly referred to as gum disease, is the inflammation and infection that destroys the tissues supporting the teeth. This includes the gums, ligaments, and tooth sockets. Early stage gum disease is referred to as gingivitis and is characterized by tender, slightly swollen gums that may or may not bleed when brushing.

How Does Gum Disease Begin?

Most patients know what plaque is—the sticky material that forms on teeth between professional cleanings. Plaque that isn’t removed can harden into tartar, which then becomes trapped at the bottom of the teeth, irritating the gums. This allows bacteria and their toxins to infect the gums, causing swelling and tenderness.

What Puts You at Risk for Gum Disease?

  • Aging
  • Body-wide infections
  • Poor dental hygiene
  • Pregnancy and puberty hormones
  • Heredity
  • Obesity
  • Uncontrolled diabetes
  • Misaligned or missing teeth
  • Smoking or using other tobacco products

What are the Symptoms of Gum Disease?

Many patients don’t realize they have gum disease until a visit to our State College family dentistry office. In fact, early stage gum disease may have no symptoms at all. However, if you experience one or more of the following symptoms, you should contact our office outside of your regular six month checkups:

  • Bleeding gums
  • Tenderness or swelling
  • Bright red or purplish appearance in the mouth
  • Consistent pain upon contact
  • Mouth sores
  • Shiny appearance
  • Pockets forming between the teeth and gums

How We Treat Gum Disease

Once a diagnosis is made, we begin with a conservative approach to remove the bacterial accumulations below the gumline and on the root surfaces of the teeth. Occasionally, an antibiotic powder is used to aid the healing process and to fight progressing infection. Our goal is to reduce inflammation and bring the infection under control. As with any procedure we perform, we make your comfort a top priority.

At the conclusion of this initial therapy, occasions may arise where specific areas need further attention. If this is the case, you will be given the option of seeing one of our specialists for advanced periodontal care.

Once you have restored health to your gums, you’ll need to take extra care with your home routine. In addition, you may need to visit our State College family dental office more often for professional hygiene.

If you haven’t seen a dentist regularly or if you need treatment for gum disease, contact our State College family dentistry practice. We provide compassionate, gentle dentistry to families in the communities of State College, Spring Mills, Centre Hall, Huntingdon, Altoona, Penns Valley, Boalsburg, Lemont, Bellafonte, Lewistown, Philipsburg, Port Matilda, University Park, Pleasant Gap, and Hollidaysburg.