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Gum Disease

Gum disease is a serious inflammatory process that affects the gums and teeth of a patient's smile. It is said that some 80% of adults have local gingivitis, and approximately 60% of Americans have periodontitis or bone loss occurring. These statistics are staggering, and raise concern for the overall dental health of our communities.

Gum disease can be reversed as long as it is diagnosed and treated early. Additionally, preventative care may keep gum disease from reoccurring, or occurring at all. This is why Drs. Madsen and Hirsch stress the importance of brushing, flossing, and maintaining regular check-up appointments and professional cleanings to help avoid the development and progression of gum disease. 

Warning signs include bleeding and reddened gums, swelling, pain, shifting or loose teeth, bad breath, receding gums, and pain.

Periodontal Treatment | Madsen and Hirsch Dental Care | Madison, WI Dentists

Gum disease has various stages:


The first stage is called gingivitis, and it is the inflammation of gum tissues. Gum tissues become inflamed and swollen, and can bleed during brushing and flossing.


Bone begins to deteriorate and become less dense, while gums start to shrink and pull away from the teeth. Pockets begin to form between the teeth and gums, and are the perfect place for plaque and bacteria to continue to collect.

Advanced Periodontitis

Once gum disease has progressed to this stage, it becomes extremely severe. This is when teeth movement may start to occur, and bone density fails to keep the teeth in place. This results in the loss of natural teeth as they are no longer able to stay rooted into the gums and bone.

Other than the loss and destruction of the bones, gums, and teeth, gum disease has other implications. Studies have shown that the infection and inflammation that occurs in the mouth can be indications of increased risk for other medical problems such as strokes, heart attacks, cardiovascular diseases, and diabetes. 

Advanced gum disease is often treated with deep cleanings or surgery.  Dental cleanings can effectively treat the bacteria, but when you return home the cycle often continues.  Bacterial cells grow back in just hours after a cleaning, and sometimes home cleaning with a toothbrush, rinse and floss can't reach deep enough to address the infections at home.  In these case, we prescribe The Perio Tray by Perio Protect which gently applies medication deep under the gums to fight the infections.  You use it a home for just minutes each day.  The Tray is comfortable, flexible, and custom-fit precesely for your mouth.

With Perio Tray therapy, you have a new chance against the infections.  In addition to healthier gums, patients commonly report whiter teeth and fresher breath.  If you've been told that you have gum disease (gingivitis or periodontitis), ask our team here at Madsen & Hirsch Dental Care if Perio Trays are right for you.