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Periodontal Disease and Gingivitis

August 15, 2016

Periodontal Disease and Gingivitis

Periodontal Disease and gingivitis are diseases usually do not hurt.  By some estimates, over 90% of the population have some form of active periodontal disease and/or gingivitis.  Simply put, gingivitis is a reversible infection of the gums.  It can be eliminated with a professional cleaning and thorough home care.  However, this infection will easily return without continued personal and professional care.

Periodontal disease involves bone loss around the teeth.  It is an infectious disease – not a natural disease of aging for example – that should be treated for optimal health.  Once you have periodontal disease you will always have the bone loss unless it has been surgically corrected. You can however eliminate active periodontal disease so that the bone loss does not continue.

Advanced periodontal disease and gingivitis or gum disease prior to treatment.

Advanced periodontal disease and gingivitis or gum disease prior to treatment.

Advanced periodontal disease and gum disease or gingivitis after treatment.

Advanced periodontal disease and gum disease or gingivitis after treatment.








Leaving these diseases untreated is like leaving oozing sores anywhere else on your body!  In our office we are happy to help you successfully treat these infections with gentle, through cleanings and periodontal therapy to help you get as healthy as you would like to be.  Please call our office to schedule an appointment today at (970)242-3635.  Even though these diseases are not glamorous to treat they are probably some of the most useful services we provide!

Yours for better dental health,

Julie Gillis DDS, PC

Restoring Smiles/Restoring Health


Gum Disease Bacteria Alert! Where to Live?

February 23, 2016

Filed under: Gingivitis or Gum Disease,Periodontal Disease — Tags: , — Dr Gillis @ 9:26 pm

If you were a Gum Disease causing bacteria, whose mouth would you live in?

Generalized slight to moderate gum disease or gingivitis

Generalized slight to moderate gum disease or gingivitis

Severe periodontal disease and gingivitils.

Severe periodontal disease and gingivitils. Note the extensive build up of tartar on the posterior teeth.

Well, that depends!  If you were a bacteria that causes gum disease, tooth decay, or periodontal disease and your goal was to live undisturbed as long as possible, you might want to live in one of the areas shown here.  You would live. eat, proliferate (multiply in that way bacteria do), and cause destruction depending on your ability to do these things.

If you selected for your home an area of existing gum disease or periodontal disease, you may be able to live out your days happily causing destruction and your human host might have difficulty getting rid of you.  Good for you, bad for the human.  In the presence of gum disease, there is often pocketing which means space between the top of the tissue and the place under the gums where the tissue attaches.  The best tooth brusheres and flossers can get bacteria out from under the gums about 3 or 4 millimeters maximum.  If the pocketing is deeper that that, bacteria and debris are left under the gums.  The process of gum disease continues and the pockets get worse, gum disease gets more advanced, and this may lead to permanent loss of bone around the teeth.

Severe gum disease and periodontal disease!

Severe gum disease and periodontal disease!

Severe gum disease and periodontal disease!

Severe gum disease and periodontal disease!

Tissue that is red, inflamed, bleeds with brushing and flossing is infected with bacteria and called gum disease.  It also smells bad and can affect your ability to taste food! There are bacteria in all areas of your mouth and most of these guys are good.  However, allowed to proliferate undisturbed, often isolated from areas accessible to toothbrushes and dental floss, the bacteria population changes.  The ‘bad’ guys predominate and tissue destruction continues.  That’s right, the good bacteria get pushed aside and more and more aggressive bacteria predominate.  That is good for you, the ‘bad’ bacteria, but it is not good for your host, the human with gum disease and periodontal disease.

The photos above show severe gum disease and periodontal disease.  Efforts to remove bacteria are complicated by extensive build up of tartar and severely crowded teeth!  That means more work for you, the patient.  You can keep crooked teeth healthy and you can eliminate gum disease with the help of our office or your dental professional and dental hygienist.  Please don’t let the disease get this bad before you have it treated! The bad bacteria might not be happy about this, but your mouth, your gums, and your significant other will!


Periodontal Disease and Treatment

April 8, 2014

Periodontal Disease and Treatment

Periodontal disease is the loss of the supporting structures of the teeth namely gums and bone.  Treatment can take many forms depending on the severity of the disease, the location of the periodontal disease and variables between patients based on comfort goals and finances.  In our office, we believe it is important that your periodontal disease is explained to you and that you have the opportunity to ask questions and select the best treatment for you!

Advanced periodontal disease and gum disease.

Periodontal disease and gum disease.


Advanced periodontal disease and gum disease after treatment.

Periodontal disease and gum disease after treatment.

You can benefit from periodontal disease treatment!  The tissue can heal completely but bone loss that has already occurred (periodontal disease, by definition, includes bone loss) may never return. So the earlier treatment begins, the better.

  • This will help you maintain the affected teeth as long as possible.
  • Treatment will assist in the control of bad breath
  • Periodontal disease treatment may well reduce the risk of some systemic diseases

Periodontal disease is an infectious ongoing disease that must be well maintained with adequate home care (That’s right – you are an important part in the success of periodontal disease treatment!) and regularly scheduled re-care visits.

Periodontal disease and gum disease.

Periodontal disease and gum disease.

Periodontal disease and gum disease following treatment - bone loss remains but gums have healed.

Periodontal disease and gum disease following treatment – bone loss remains but gums have healed.

This information shared with you by Julie Gillis, DDS PC .  We feel that your dental health is the top priority, and if we can make your smile more attractive while improving your health that is wonderful! Dr. Gillis practices restorative and cosmetic dentistry including porcelain veneers, tooth whitening, implants, crowns, bridges and periodontal care.  I feel our dental hygienists are the very best in the valley! Our office website is www.juliegillisds.com.  For further information, please contact us at (970) 242-3635.

Yours for better health,

Julie Gillis, DDS,

“Restoring Smiles – Restoring Health”

Can You Have Healthy Gums and Rotten Teeth?

August 22, 2013

Can you Have Healthy Gums and Rotten Teeth?  Yes, absolutely!

Rotten teeth, healthy gums!

Bacteria cause almost all the problems we see in patient’s mouths – except for trauma and muscle issues.  The problems directly attributable to bacteria are decay, cavities, gingivitis, periodontal disease, and infections,  So, if you can control the bacteria, you can control most of the problems we dentists see and spend our careers trying to correct.  The problem, as I see it, is that as soon as you remove the bacteria loaded, plaque biofilm from your teeth, there are more bacteria ready to move in and replace those that you have just removed.  And, that’s okay!  Bacteria – at least some of them – are also good and necessary.

Lots of decay or cavities noted, but gums are pretty healthy!

One of our office’s first steps in getting you healthy will probably be to improve your oral hygiene and do what we can to eliminate active gingivitis or gum disease.  The following photos will show that you can certainly have healthy gums around unhealthy teeth with obvious cavities or decay.  The efforts that you make controlling decay and eliminating gingivitis will pay big dividends in the future in helping to keep your teeth for a lifetime.  By keeping your teeth and gums clean, the process of decay will slow down and any restorations that are placed will last longer!  Totally worth your investment in time and effort!

Extensive decay - pretty healthy gums!

As you can see from this photo, the gum tissue is healthy and pink, hugging the necks of the teeth that need to be restored.  Our office loves to see healthy gums!  I know that any restoration that I complete for this patient – whether it be conservative bonding, crowns, or modified porcelain veneers – will last longer due to their excellent home care!

These restorations will last longer due to this patient's ability to keep his gums healthy.

Our office would be happy to tell you about what is going on in your mouth in as much detail as you would like.  We are also quite aware that some people do not want this information! Our office is located in Grand Junction, Colorado.  Our phone number is (970) 242-3635.  You can email us at jgillis@juliegillisdds.com.  Our office now has a Facebook page and we would love for you to ‘like’ us! On Facebook, find us at Julie M Gillis DDS PC.

As always, yours for better dental health,

Julie Gillis, DDS

Restoring Smiles/Restoring Health

What is Tartar and Why Should I Care?

December 17, 2012

What Is Tartar and Why Should I Care?

Gross tartar deposits, blunted tissue, periodontal disease

Please see the tartar on the following photos:

Heavy deposits of tartar behind lower front teeth.

The real problem with tartar lies in the fact that once tartar forms, it is very difficult or impossible to remove with a toothbrush and floss. We compare the formation of tartar on your teeth to the formation of calcium deposits on your faucets or the formation of barnacles on a ships

Moderate tartar deposits - moderate gum inflammation

Because tartar is bound to your teeth so strongly, careful removal of tartar requires the assistance of a dental professional – your dentist or dental hygienist will do this for you.  Tartar makes the teeth rough and creates places for even more bacteria and food to accumulate leading to gun disease, periodontal disease, decay, bad breath, and more tartar!  It is a vicious cycle.  Other common names for tartar are calculus and crud!

The accumulation of tartar requires three things:

1)    The presence of an organized film of bacteria – and yes, new bacteria are always there ready and willing to take the place of bacteria that have been removed by brushing and flossing!  As soon as you brush and floss, more bacteria begin to accumulate on your teeth and gums as well as in the crevice between the teeth and gums where the bacteria are hard to reach but can usually be removed with careful dental flossing.
2)    The presence of food and minerals for the bacteria.  These things are almost always present in anyone’s mouth.
3)    The presence of teeth!
We used the term, ‘organized film of bacteria’ above.  This is very important because part of what you are doing when you brush and floss your teeth is simply stirring up the bacteria that are present.  Bringing the worst bacteria out from under your gums and into the oxygenated openness of your mouth limits tartar formation and limits colonies of bacteria to form which can then lead to gum disease and periodontal disease.

See tartar and defective restorations

Some of the tartar in your mouth can be seen easily by looking closely in a mirror.  Don’t be tempted to scrapethe tartar off yourself though. You may accidently scrape away some of the surface of your teeth along with the tartar deposits which can permanently make the teeth weak!  The most damaging tartar is the tartar that forms below the gums where it can be seen on x-rays and felt by a skilled dental professional.
If you would like to see images of your teeth and see the tartar that is being evaluated or treated, please ask us!  Our office would be happy to explain in as much detail as you would like what is going on in your mouth.  Conversely, if you would just like to enjoy peaceful or rocking music while you are being treated and remain oblivious to the nuts and bolts of the procedures we would be happy to do this as well.  Once you make an informed decision about your dental care we will strive to treat you as comfortably as possible!  Our office is located in Grand Junction,
Colorado.  Our office phone number is (970) 242-3635.  Please visit us on Facebook (see Julie M Gillis DDS PC) or call us if you have any questions or concerns.

Restoring Smiles/Restoring Health

Julie Gillis DDS

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1190 Bookcliff Ave. Suite 201, Grand Junction, CO 81501 USA
Julie M Gillis DDS Grand Junction, CO cosmetic, general, & restorative dentist. (970) 242-3635 (970) 242-8479 jgillis@juliegillisdds.com