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About Periodontal Disease

Periodontal (gum) diseases, including gingivitis and periodontitis, are serious infections that, left untreated, can lead to tooth loss. The word periodontal literally means “around the tooth.” Periodontal disease is a chronic bacterial infection 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.

In the mildest form of the disease, gingivitis, the gums redden, swell and bleed easily. There is usually little or no discomfort. Gingivitis is often caused by inadequate oral hygiene. Gingivitis is reversible with professional treatment and good oral home care.

Untreated gingivitis can advance to periodontitis. With time, plaque can spread and grow below the gum line. Toxins produced by the bacteria in plaque irritate the gums. The toxins stimulate a chronic inflammatory response in which the body in essence turns on itself, and the tissues and bone that support the teeth are broken down and destroyed. Gums separate from the teeth, forming pockets (spaces between the teeth and gums) that become infected. As the disease progresses, the pockets deepen and more gum tissue and bone are destroyed. Often, this destructive process has very mild symptoms. Eventually, teeth can become loose and may have to be removed.

What is a Periodontist?

A Periodontist is a dentist who specializes in the diagnosis and surgical and non-surgical treatment of diseases and conditions of the periodontium, as well as the surgical placement and maintenance of dental implants to replace teeth lost to periodontal diseases. Periodontists are experts in the management of patients with periodontitis and gum recession.

Periodontics is one of the nine American Dental Association recognized specialties of dentistry. Periodontists complete 3 years of additional formal training beyond dental school in an accredited residency training program.


Adrian I. Rodriguez, D.M.D., M.S.D.

Dr. Rodriguez has limited his practice to Periodontics and Implants in South Florida, for the past thirteen years. He received his DMD degree from the University of Puerto Rico and completed his postgraduate training in Periodontology at the Boston University Goldman School of Graduate Dentistry, where he earned an MSD in Oral Biology. He is well trained in all aspects of Periodontics including; Osseous Resective and Regenerative Surgery (membranes, grafting), Mucogingival Surgery, Root Resection, Occlusal equilibration and Implantology.