Periodontics Specialist

Richard Rhoads, Jr., DDS -  - General Dentist

Smiles By The Lake

Richard Rhoads, Jr., DDS

General Dentist & Cosmetic Dentist located in Overland Park, KS

When most people think of dental care, they’re thinking about their teeth; but the health of your gums is just as important. Gum disease affects your gums’ ability to protect your teeth and can do irreparable damage when left untreated. If you’re suffering from gum disease, don’t hesitate to call Richard Rhoads, Jr., DDS, and schedule an examination at Smiles by the Lake. Call the office in Overland Park, Kansas, today or make an appointment online with the scheduling tool.


What causes periodontal disease?

Periodontal disease, or gum disease, happens when bacteria collects along your gum line, causing irritation, inflammation, and recession of the gum tissue. Sometimes, this bacteria is even protected by a layer of hard tartar that can’t be removed through brushing and flossing alone.

As periodontal disease progresses, the gums will continue to recede, exposing more and more of your teeth to bacteria and decay. This can easily lead to bacteria attacking the tooth roots, causing teeth to become weakened and vulnerable. Periodontal disease is the single leading cause of tooth loss in adults.

How do I know if I have periodontal disease?

The early signs of gum disease are usually subtle, so it’s important to monitor the health of your gums just as closely as you monitor your teeth. Early signs of periodontal disease include:

  • Gum sensitivity
  • Red or unusually bright pink gum color
  • Teeth that feel slightly loose
  • Pink-tinged saliva

As your gum disease advances, you may begin to notice symptoms like:

  • Pain while brushing
  • Pain when you touch your gums
  • Very loose feeling teeth, or teeth that move within the gum
  • Visible gaps between teeth and gums
  • Bleeding when you brush

Regular dental checkups are the best way to keep tabs on the health of your gums and can prevent bacteria and tartar from building up around them in the first place.

What is the treatment for gum disease?

The best treatment for gum disease is diligent oral hygiene habits, including thorough flossing. If you’re already experiencing symptoms from periodontal disease, then you could probably benefit from a dental cleaning or medicated mouthwash.

For moderate cases of gum disease, Dr. Rhoads can perform a scaling and root planing procedure, where he uses dental tools to clean the spaces between your teeth and gums and remove any lurking bacteria. This procedure also smooths out the surfaces under your gums, making it more difficult for bacteria to grow there.

If you’re worried about the health of your gums, call Smiles by the Lake today to make an appointment, or use the online scheduling tool.