Periodontal Dentistry

Periodontal Dentistry services offered in Bethesda, MD

Healthy gums provide foundational support for a beautiful, functional smile. At Art and Dentistry in Bethesda, Maryland, Ellen Brodsky, DDS, Andrew Schliep, DDS, and the professional team are committed to helping you achieve and maintain healthy gums with advanced periodontal treatments. Call the dental clinic today to learn more about preventing and treating periodontal disease.

Periodontal Dentistry Q & A

What is periodontal disease?

Periodontal disease, commonly called gum disease, is a bacterial infection that affects the gums and the bone supporting the teeth. It develops when plaque, a sticky form of bacteria, builds on your teeth and gums, eating away at your natural tooth-supporting structures. There are two main types:


Gingivitis is a mild, early form of gum disease that causes redness, irritation, and swelling. While your gums may bleed when you brush your teeth, healthy habits, such as brushing and flossing regularly, can help ease your symptoms.


Periodontitis is an advanced gum disease that can develop when gingivitis progresses. It causes the gums to pull away from the underlying bone, allowing pockets of plaque to form and become trapped beneath the gum line. At this stage, your gums may recede, causing your teeth to shift.

What is the main cause of periodontal disease? 

Plaque buildup is the main cause of periodontal disease. Poor oral hygiene habits, such as inconsistent brushing and flossing, significantly increase your risk of developing gingivitis and, eventually, periodontitis. Other common risk factors for periodontal disease include:

  • Genetics
  • Older age
  • Certain medications
  • Tobacco use
  • Hormonal changes

Visiting Art and Dentistry for regular dental cleanings at least once every six months can help minimize your risk of periodontal disease.

What does periodontal disease look and feel like?

Periodontal disease can present in many different ways depending on the severity of the condition. You may notice redness, inflammation, and bleeding in its early stages when you brush or floss. Over time, your gums may start pulling back from your teeth, causing visible pockets of bacteria. This can lead to chronic bad breath. 

While periodontal disease usually isn’t painful, your gums may become sore and irritated as the condition progresses. Your teeth can even start to loosen and feel uncomfortable when you chew. Without proper treatment, gum disease can lead to permanent tooth loss.

Is periodontal disease curable?

Gingivitis is reversible, but periodontitis isn’t. Once the disease advances, the team works with you to manage your symptoms and prevent complications like tooth loss. The earlier you seek treatment for periodontal disease, the better. Standard treatments for periodontal disease include:

  • Regular teeth cleanings
  • Scaling and root planing (deep cleaning)
  • Laser dentistry
  • Gum grafting

Protecting your gums is essential to maintain a healthy smile. To learn more about periodontal disease, call Art and Dentistry today to schedule an appointment.