Your periodontal, or gum, health is an essential aspect of the overall health of your mouth. Gingivitis and periodontal disease are significant health problems that can lead to swollen, bleeding gums, teeth that are loose or separating, or chronic bad breath.
At Affinity Dental, we will evaluate the state of your periodontal health during your visit and make recommendations for further treatment if necessary. Our staff has over 170 years of combined experience caring for patients throughout the Baltimore metropolitan area. Our comprehensive group practice located at 4 East Rolling Crossroads is a warm, friendly environment that accepts patients with all levels of dentistry needs.
Meet our Periodontist
Dr. Kathryn Mutzig is Affinity Dental’s staff periodontist, specializing in treating gingivitis, periodontal disease, and other gum problems. She is in the office on Thursdays to provide specialized periodontal care to patients when needed.
A Michigan native, Dr. Mutzig graduated from Ohio State University with a degree in psychology and certification in dental hygiene. She earned her doctor of dental medicine degree from the University of Pennsylvania and her certificate in periodontics from the University of Maryland. From 1999 to 2000, she served as president of the Baltimore County Dental Association. She is also a member of the American Academy of Periodontics, American Dental Association, Maryland State Dental Association and the Maryland Society of Periodontics.
What is Periodontal Disease?
Periodontal disease, or gum disease, is a chronic infection and inflammation that affects the gums. It affects three of every four people during their lifetime and is the single biggest factor behind adult tooth loss – causing close to 70% of all adult tooth loss.
Periodontal disease occurs due to long-term accumulation of tartar and/or plaque between the teeth and gums. Bacterial plaque forms on teeth constantly, and if not removed through regular brushing, the toxins in this plaque can begin to irritate the gums and break down the tissue. Pockets form which become bigger receptors for the bacteria and toxins. Eventually, the bacteria can move to the supporting bone structures around the teeth.
Stages of Periodontal Disease
- The first stage of periodontitis is gingivitis, in which the gums become irritated and swollen.
- The second stage, early and moderate periodontal disease, involves periodontal pockets that deepen and fill with more bacteria and toxins. Supporting bone and ligaments around the teeth begin to show damage
- In the third stage, advanced periodontal disease, the gums begin to pull away from the teeth and bone loss increases, affecting the support around teeth. Teeth may have to be removed to protect the overall health of the mouth.
Warning Signs of Periodontal Disease
How to tell if you are at risk for Periodontal Disease:
- Your gums are red or swollen
- Your gums bleed when flossing or brushing teeth
- Pus or other infection is apparent between the teeth and gums
- Chronic bad breath
- Loose or separating teeth
Questions about your gum health? Contact us here or call us at 410-719-7900.