Periodontal disease is a chronic, often painless infection of the gums that gradually destroys the bony support of the teeth. Dental plaque is the primary cause of gum disease, and the bacteria present in plaque infect the gums causing irritation and inflammation. Left untreated, periodontal disease leads to tooth loss. Studies have shown that approximately 35% of Americans are affected by some sort of periodontal disease.

The inflammation produced by long-standing gum disease may represent a health risk to the entire body. Numerous studies have shown inflamed gums are associated with increased risk of heart attack, stroke, low-birth weight, and Alzheimer’s disease

Progression of periodontal disease is the major cause of tooth loss in adults. It is an inflammatory disease that results in the destruction of tooth-supporting bone. The gum inflammation is caused mainly by the accumulation of bacterial plaque below the gum line. Periodontists Dr. David Weinstock and Dr. Jonathan Waasdorp provide personalized treatment plans for varying stages of gum disease. Dr. Weinstock and Dr. Waasdorp are highly trained periodontists with years of experience treating patients with varying stages of gum disease.


Bacterial plaque is a soft, sticky, toxic mass which attaches to teeth along and underneath the gum line. If the plaque is not removed by regular brushing and flossing, it hardens and becomes tartar or calculus. As the tartar develops, it forms a cohesive bond with the root surface of the tooth. Tartar can only be removed by the dentist or hygienist through scaling and root planing (SRP).

Left untreated, the resulting bone loss will leave behind pockets of gum around the affected teeth. These pockets will harbor still more plaque, bacteria, and tartar in an area that is inaccessible to the patient. The progress of the disease will usually accelerate.