Guide to Gum Disease – Mount Pleasant, SC

Preserve Your Oral Health for a Lifetime of Smiles


The most common disease in the United States is not what you may think. Heart disease, stroke, or cancer come to mind, but actually, gum disease is the single most prevalent condition in America today. In fact, it affects more people than heart disease, stroke, Alzheimer's, and cancer combined. About 80% of the population has some form of gum disease, also known as periodontal disease, periodontitis (advanced), and gingivitis (mild). Continue exploring your guide to gum disease on this page to learn more and call us with any questions you might have.

Why Choose Smile Carolina Dental Group for Gum Disease Treatment?

  • Team of Experienced Doctors Focused on Your Comfort
  • Relaxing Dental Sedation Available
  • Partnered with Expert Periodontists in the Area

What Is Gum Disease?

Gum disease is an infection of the gums and bones that support the teeth, and it usually starts early in life, then progresses as a person ages. It all starts when plaque hardens into tartar (also called calculus) below the gumline. This irritates the vulnerable soft tissues where infection can set in. Combined with decaying food particles lodged between teeth and bacteria emitted by plaque, the infection can spread quickly. Symptoms are so mild in the early phase that many patients do not notice them: red, tender, swollen gums that bleed whenever the teeth are cleaned.

As the condition progresses, the gums recede from the teeth and pockets of bacteria form. The bacteria can destroy the gum tissue and jawbone and eventually cause tooth and bone loss.

Why Is Gum Disease So Serious?

Recent research has revealed that gum disease is linked to an increased risk for major overall health problems, including but not limited to stroke, heart disease, respiratory problems, osteoporosis, diabetes complications, low birth weight, and most recently, dementia. Because of these findings, research continues to this day. We may learn even more in the next few years.

It makes perfect sense, though – gum disease is linked to overall health problems. Everything that enters or is present in the mouth has access to the whole body. The mouth is like a portal to the body, which is why regular checkups and hygiene visits are vital not only to your oral health but also to your overall health.

Is Gum Disease Curable?

Unfortunately, gum disease is not curable. However, we can detect the early warning signs of gum disease at your regular dental checkups. At this stage, prevention might be as simple as altering your brushing technique, improving your flossing routine, or changing the products you use for oral care at home.

Once gum disease sets in, we can often treat it with nonsurgical therapy including:

  • Scaling – to remove hardened plaque from below the gumline
  • Root Planing – to reduce the rough areas on teeth roots
  • Antibiotic Therapy – to battle infection
  • Laser Treatment – to remove bacteria and promote gum reattachment

Advanced cases may require the care of a periodontist, in which case, we will refer you to a trusted colleague.

Afterward, expect to attend more frequent hygiene visits so that we can monitor your condition and make sure that your recovery is on track.