Gum disease is serious business …

Almost half of American adults have some form of periodontal disease. However, the majority of these people do not even know that they have it. Periodontal diseases are bacterial infections of the gums, bone and periodontal ligament (attachment fibers that support the teeth and hold them to the jaw). The word periodontal literally means “around the tooth.”

Periodontics is a dental specialty that involves the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of diseases of the supporting and surrounding tissues of the teeth and the maintenance of the health, function and esthetics of these structures and tissues.

Periodontal (gum) disease, including gingivitis and periodontitis, are serious inflammatory disorders that, left untreated, can lead to tooth loss. Periodontal disease is a chronic inflammatory disease that affects the gums and bone supporting the teeth. Periodontal disease can affect one tooth or many teeth. It begins when the bacteria in plaque (the sticky, colorless film that constantly forms on your teeth) causes the gums to become inflamed.


Gingivitis is the mildest form of periodontal disease. It causes the gums to become red, swollen, and bleed easily. There is usually little or no discomfort at this stage. Gingivitis is often caused by inadequate oral hygiene. Gingivitis is reversible with professional treatment and good oral home care.

Factors that may contribute to gingivitis include, diabetes, smoking, aging, genetic predisposition, systemic diseases and conditions, stress, inadequate nutrition, puberty, hormonal fluctuations, pregnancy, substance abuse, HIV infection, and certain medication use.


Periodontitis is a form of periodontal disease and is one of the primary causes of tooth loss and is usually painless and silent until its advanced stages. Symptoms can include:

  •     Persistent bad breath
  •     Gums that bleed when you brush your teeth
  •     Red, swollen and tender gums
  •     Gums that have pulled away from the teeth
  •     Loose or separating teeth
  •     Pus between the gum and tooth
  •     A change in the way your teeth fit together when you bite

Left untreated, gingivitis can advance to periodontitis. Over time plaque may spread and distribute below the gum line. The bacteria in plaque produce toxins that irritate the gum tissue. When the gum tissue is irritated it triggers an inflammatory response in the body causing the body to break down and destroy the tissue and bone that support the teeth. When this happens the gum tissue separates from the teeth forming spaces, called pockets, that become infected. As these pockets deepen, more tissue and bone are destroyed and although the symptoms you experience may be mild, if left untreated the teeth gradually become loose and may need to be removed.

Some patients with mild periodontal issues can be managed by their general dentist. Patients who present with moderate or severe levels of periodontal disease, or patients with more complex cases, will be best managed by a partnership between the dentist and periodontist. Working together, Dr. Tymkiw and your general dentist will provide you a high level of care and attention to meet your periodontal needs.

Periodontic Specialists

As a periodontist, Dr. Tymkiw, specializes in the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of periodontal disease, and in the placement of dental implants. Periodontists are also experts in the treatment of oral inflammation. Periodontists receive extensive training in these areas, including three additional years of education beyond dental school. They are familiar with the latest techniques for diagnosing and treating periodontal disease, and are also trained in performing cosmetic periodontal procedures.

Dr. Tymkiw typically treats more problematic periodontal cases, such as those with severe gum disease or a complex medical history. He offers a wide range of treatments, such as scaling and root planing (in which the infected surface of the root is cleaned) or root surface debridement (in which damaged tissue is removed). He is also able to provide a range of surgical procedures to treat patients with severe gum problems. In addition, Dr. Tymkiw is specially trained in the placement and repair of dental implants.

Contact us today to schedule an appointment.