Periodontal disease, also known as gum disease, is an oral condition that affects the gums and supporting structures in your mouth. It is caused by the harmful bacteria trapped in plaque. As plaque hardens into calculus (tartar), the disease becomes more established in your mouth. Gum attachments begin to separate from your teeth and create pockets that harbor these harmful bacteria. If gum disease is allowed to progress without treatment, the condition may become irreversible.

What are the symptoms of periodontal disease?

  • Red, swollen or tender gums
  • Bleeding while brushing or flossing
  • Gums that recede away from the teeth
  • Loose or mobile teeth
  • Gum infections/abscess
  • Persistent bad breath
  • A change in the way your teeth fit together when you bite
  • A change in the fit of removable appliances


You may have an increased risk of developing periodontal disease if you:

  • Smoke or use other tobacco products
  • Do not brush and floss your teeth regularly
  • Have a family history of gum disease
  • Have a systemic health condition, such as diabetes, heart disease, osteoporosis, etc.
  • Have poor nutrition
  • Clench or grind your teeth
  • Have medications that affects your gums

Initial treatment involves detailed cleanings by hygienists to aid in the removal of the leftover calculus with the goal of reducing gum inflammation. Once stable, the next phase is periodontal maintenance to help decrease the risk of deeper gum pockets, tooth mobility and future bone loss. This involves professional dental cleanings every three to four months. The best way to prevent periodontal disease is with good tooth brushing and flossing techniques.

Call our dental office in Spokane, Washington, at 509-327-8681 today to schedule an appointment with Dr. Nicolas Gallegos for periodontal maintenance.