gum disease
brushing your teeth too hard or using
a toothbrush with hard bristles
trauma to gum tissues, such as a sports
partial dentures that don’t fit right
genetics some people are born with
gums that are thin or weak
larger-than-normal tooth roots or
attachment muscles that can push gums
out of place
smoking and using any kind of tobacco
Care after your treatment
If you have a gum graft, your dentist will tell
you how to care for your gums. This may include
using a special mouthrinse and changing what
you eat. A bandage or dressing may be placed
over the graft to help it heal.
Gum grafts are a kind of surgery and the area may
be tender or sore and may swell. Most people are
able to go back to their normal routines the next
day. However, you may need to avoid chewing
for a week or two where the surgery was done.
Your dentist will talk with you about your specific
healing time.
There are other things that can slow down healing.
These include older age, clenching or grinding
your teeth, not eating a healthy diet, and some
medicines or health issues. Be sure to tell your
dentist about all medications, drugs, or vitamins
you are taking and health issues you may have.
After your gums have healed from surgery, keep
your teeth and gums healthy by brushing gently
twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste. Also, be
sure to clean between your teeth daily with floss
or another between-the-teeth cleaner. Look for
products with the American Dental Association
Seal of Acceptance. These products
have been tested and proven to be
both safe and effective in keeping
your mouth healthy.
Gum recession can leave the tooth root
exposed. The root surface does not have
a hard, protective layer covering like
the top of your tooth so it may become
sensitive to hot and cold. The exposed
tooth root is also more at risk for decay.
What causes gum recession?
Avoid smoking or using any kind
of tobacco.
Do not drink alcohol.
Follow all instructions from the
dental team.
To help your gums heal after surgery:
It is important to treat gum recession so that it
doesn’t get worse and cause other problems.
The type of treatment for gum recession depends
on the cause.
If gum recession is caused by brushing too hard,
your dentist or hygienist can show you a better
way to clean your teeth. This will not repair the
existing damage, but it will prevent new damage
to your gums.
If gum recession is caused by gum disease, the
first step is usually a deep cleaning treatment called
scaling (SKAY-ling) and root planing (PLAY-ning).
Your dentist removes plaque and tartar from your
tooth and root surfaces. This helps gum tissues heal
and reattach to the tooth. For many patients, this plus
excellent oral care at home and regular dental visits
can help control gum disease and recession.
If gum recession is caused by partial dentures
that don’t fit right, your dentist can adjust or
remake them for you.
If your recession is advanced, a gum graft may
be needed. A thin piece of gum tissue is taken from
another place in your mouth and attached where
the gum tissue has receded. Once the graft
heals, it covers the exposed tooth root.
Grafts may be done around one or more teeth. They
protect the tooth root from sensitivity and decay.
A graft can also be used to make a smile look better.
Gum recession of a tooth
tooth root
gum tissue
Before gum graft
Exposed tooth roots are
more at risk for cavities
and sensitivity.
After gum graft
Repaired gums now protect
tooth roots.
exposed tooth roots
What is Periodontal Disease?
Periodontal (Perry-o-DON-tal) Disease is an infection that
affects the tissues and bone that support your teeth. It is also
called gum disease.
Gum disease can become a very serious health problem if it’s
not treated.
2 3
How it startsevery
Plaque is a sticky film
that is always on your teeth.
When plaque is left on your
teeth and gums, it can harden.
Hardened plaque is also called
tartar (TAR-ter). Bacteria that
live in the plaque can make your
gums become red, puffy and
swollen. Tartar on your teeth
makes it hard for you to keep
your teeth and gums clean on
your own.
When your gums are red,
puffy and swollen, they can
start to pull away from your
teeth. Spaces called pockets
start to form between your gums
and teeth. These pockets collect
more bacteria. As
in the pockets, your gum disease
will get worse.
the causes of gum disease
the stages of gum disease
how gum disease is diagnosed
how gum disease is treated
how to keep your mouth healthy after treatment
This booklet is your complete guide to gum disease
and can help you learn about:
What causes gum disease?
A surprisingly wide variety of bacteria live in your mouth. This is
normal. When certain types of bacteria outgrow the others, this
starts the process of gum disease.
When your gums are healthy, your gum tissues tightly hug each of
your teeth. When you have gum disease, your gums pull away from
your teeth. the gum disease gets worse, the tissues and bones that
support your teeth become damaged. Over time, your teeth may fall
out or need to be removed.
Before professional dental cleaning
Before treatment
Keep your Gums Healthy
After Treatment
Once your gum disease is brought under control, it is very important
that you get dental care on a consistent basis. The type of professional
cleanings recommended after your treatment are called periodontal
maintenance care. These cleanings are more extensive than the
standard cleaning and will help you keep your gums healthy.
You will need to clean your mouth every day at home, but that is not
enough to control your gum disease. Professional care is also needed
to help make sure that your mouth continues to heal and get healthy.
Your periodontal maintenance involves cleanings that are deeper than
a normal cleaning in the dental office.
With periodic maintenance cleanings and oral care, you can keep
your gums healthy.
Once your gums are healthy, your dentist will determine a maintenance
schedule based on your clinical evaluations.
You may also need special medications that can help control the infection
and pain or to help your gums heal. The medicine could be a pill, a
special mouthrinse, or a medication that your dentist places right into
the pocket after you have a deep cleaning.
Plan for more visits to the dentist
You will need to see your dentist more often than other people.
The pockets and other issues from your gum disease will make it harder
for you to clean plaque from your teeth.
Your dentist will talk to you about a treatment plan that works best for you,
and he or she will recommend a maintenance care schedule that is based on
your personal case. Over time, fewer appointments may be necessary.
It’s important to follow your periodontal maintenance care.
You have a better chance of keeping your teeth if you do.
Your gum disease may get worse if you don’t!
12 13
Keep Up Your Oral Care at Home
It is very important that you brush and floss every day
especially if you are healing from gum disease.
Gum disease won’t go away on its own
•As Brush two times every
day for two minutes each
time . Use a toothpaste with
fluoride (FLOOR-ide).
Fluoride is a mineral that can
help keep your teeth strong.
Floss day to remove
plaque and bits of food from
in between your teeth. If your
gums have pulled away from
your teeth, it may be best to
use special tiny brushes, picks
or wider types of floss to
clean between your teeth.
Your dentist may also
recommend that you use a
specific mouthrinse.
Look for the American
Dental Association Seal
of Acceptance on all of
your dental care products.
The ADA Seal means these
products have met ADA
standards for safety
and effectiveness.staybacteriathe
Gum Recession: Causes and Treatments
Whether recession is caused by abrasion or disease, this easy-to-read brochure
is a valuable resource. Describes the causes of recession and how it can lead to
sensitivity and decay. Showing photos of recession, it explains that treatment depends
on the cause. Includes tissue grafting with before-and-after photos, plus post-
procedure care considerations.
6 panels, 50 per pack
Periodontal Disease:
Keep Your Gums Healthy
Get straight to the point with this succinct
brochure on periodontal disease. It lets
patients know that they can have perio
disease with no clear symptoms and that
it can lead to tooth loss. Includes:
Prevention tips
Warning signs
Photos of healthy gums vs. periodontitis
Probing illustrations
6 panels, 50 per pack
Periodontal Disease:
Your Complete Guide
This comprehensive booklet covers every important aspect of
periodontal disease, including prevention, detection, treatment
options and maintenance. Reinforces that proper oral hygiene,
diet and regular dental visits can help minimize risk. Also
shows photos of before-and-after deep cleaning and images
of the different stages of perio disease from healthy gums to
advanced periodontitis.
16 pages, 50 per pack
Pricing for Perio Booklet
1 $35.00 $52.50
2-9 $29.75 $44.65
10+ $26.25 $39.35
Our comprehensive perio
booklet guides patients
through prevention, diagnosis,
treatment and maintenance.
Pricing for Brochures
1 $28.00 $42.00
2-9 $23.80 $35.70
10+ $21.00 $31.50
150 $73.50 $109.50
400 $180.00 $268.00
800 $336.00 $472.00
Our brochures are revised regularly to
reflect current science. We also rely on ADA
member input. Have great clinical photos to
share? Email us at for
photo submission guidelines.
ORDER BY PHONE: 800.947.4746
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