Periodontal Disease Specialist

Matthew Milana, DDS, FAGD -  - Cosmetic & General Dentist

Arcadia Dentistry

Matthew Milana, DDS, FAGD

Cosmetic & General Dentist located in Phoenix, AZ

Most adults in the United States have some form of periodontal disease, also known as gum disease. It may be a widespread problem, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t a serious one — left untreated and allowed to progress, periodontal disease can ultimately lead to chronic mouth pain and tooth loss. At Arcadia Dentistry in Phoenix, Dr. Matthew Milana offers comprehensive periodontal services, including prevention, diagnosis, and treatment. If you have any of the symptoms of gum disease, call or book your appointment online today.

Periodontal Disease Q & A

What is periodontal disease?

Periodontal disease, one of the most common oral health issues among adult patients, generally starts out as gingivitis, or the buildup of bacteria-filled plaque that can cause irritation, redness, and inflammation in the gums along the base of your teeth. At this early stage, gum disease can usually be reversed with daily brushing and flossing, along with routine professional dental care.

Untreated gingivitis can ultimately lead to periodontitis, or advanced gum disease. This happens when your gums recede from your teeth, forming spaces or pockets that can easily become infected. During this stage, the additional bacteria in your mouth and your body’s own immune response begin to break down the soft tissues and bones that keep your teeth in place. In the worst-case form of the disease, tooth loss is common.

What are the symptoms of periodontal disease?

Healthy gums are firm, pale pink, and fit tightly around your teeth. Because gingivitis, or early gum disease, generally isn’t painful and can progress with few obvious symptoms, it’s important to recognize the early signs:  

  • Swollen, puffy, or tender gums
  • Dusky red or dark red gums
  • Ongoing bad breath or bad taste in your mouth
  • Gums that bleed during or after brushing your teeth

As it progresses into periodontal disease, you may begin to experience more severe symptoms, including:

  • Receding, bleeding, or highly sensitive gums
  • Loose teeth or painful chewing
  • Deep pockets between your teeth and gums

Gum disease doesn’t always impact your entire mouth, particularly if it’s in its beginning stages. It’s possible for the disease to affect only certain teeth, such as your molars. Dr. Milana can diagnose gum disease, determine its stage, and develop an effective treatment plan.

How is periodontal disease treated?

Common treatments for periodontal disease include:

Scaling and root planing

Scaling removes plaque from below your gums, while root planing smooths the tooth root and helps the gums reattach to the tooth.

Laser therapy

This non-surgical treatment helps reduce inflammation and may remove bacteria from root surfaces.

Root surface debridement

This procedure carefully removes tartar and collected debris from the root surface of the tooth.  


Flap surgery can help repair deep pockets that remain after other interventions, while bone and tissue grafts may be necessary to help regenerate any tissues lost to the disease  

How can I keep my gums healthy?

The best way to prevent gingivitis and advanced periodontal disease is by practicing excellent dental hygiene. This includes:

  • Brushing your teeth at least twice a day with fluoridated toothpaste
  • Flossing regularly to remove food debris and prevent plaque buildup between your teeth
  • Visiting Dr. Milana for bi-annual cleanings and exams
  • Quitting smoking, which is a leading factor in the development of gum disease