John Leitner DDS 575 Robbins Road, Grand Haven, MI 49417

(616) 842-2850


Periodontal Care in Grand Haven, MI

Protect Your Gums for a Healthy Smile

Gum disease is a major threat to your smile. In its early stages, gum disease is referred to as gingivitis. During its early stage, it’s relatively easy to treat. But if gum disease remains unchecked, it can advance to periodontitis, wreaking havoc on your smile and oral health.

At John Leitner, DDS, our Grand Haven dentist offers safe and effective periodontal treatments to eliminate infected gum tissue and restore your oral health. Learn how patients in Norton Shores, Ferrysburg, Spring Lake, and Grand Haven benefit from our gum disease treatments.

What Is Gum Disease?

Periodontal disease, also known as gum disease, is an infection that starts in the soft tissue that surrounds and supports your teeth. The infection is caused by bacteria that feed on plaque and tartar in your mouth. The disease can progress in stages, becoming more severe as time goes on. 

Stages of Gum Disease

There are several stages of gum disease that can develop over time when left untreated:

  1. Gingivitis — The first stage is caused by plaque buildup on the gum line. Symptoms consist of red and swollen gums, along with occasional bleeding. This stage is reversible, so it’s crucial to seek treatment immediately after noticing symptoms.
  2. Periodontitis — If left untreated, gingivitis progresses to periodontitis. At this stage, the bone and tissue start to wear down. You’ll experience severe pain and gum recession.
  3. Advanced Periodontitis — This is the most severe stage of gum disease that may require intensive techniques to save your smile and the condition of your oral health. You may experience loosening teeth or tooth loss.

Symptoms of Gum Disease

Some common symptoms of gum disease include:

  • Red and swollen gums
  • Bad breath
  • Shrinking gums, making teeth appear larger
  • Sensitive teeth
  • Loose or shifting teeth
  • Teeth falling out

Gum disease is caused by bacteria that grow by consuming plaque and tartar, so it’s essential to keep your smile clean with daily brushing and flossing and regular checkups with our Grand Haven dentist. 

Gum Disease Treatments

Dr. Leitner features various effective treatments for gum disease. Dr. Leitner will go over your options, helping you find the most suitable treatment for your smile. 

Deep Cleaning

Deep cleaning, also called scaling and root planing is a common treatment for early-stage gum disease. The first part of the procedure involves scaling — removing the plaque and tartar below your gum line.

The second part of the procedure, called root planing, smooths out the rough areas on the surface of your tooth roots. This helps keep bacteria and infection away from your roots, making it easier for your mouth to heal.

Laser Therapy

Laser therapy is an innovative treatment for gum disease. Dr. Leitner uses the PerioLase® system to clear away the infected portion of your gums. 

Gum treatment with PerioLase offers several advantages when compared to traditional therapies. For example, you won’t have to worry about any cutting, stitching, or sharp objects in your mouth. Laser-Assisted Regeneration is safer, with less swelling, bleeding, and loss of gum tissue. Your recovery time will be faster as well.

To learn more about laser therapy and how Dr. Leitner utilizes it to treat gum disease, listen to his informative podcast here.


Soft Tissue Grafting

A gum graft is a treatment for gum recession that uses tissue from the roof of the patient’s mouth to build up tissue where it has receded. If there’s been significant damage to the gums, some areas may need grafting to restore their appearance. A graft can cover the roots of your tooth to help keep future infections at bay.

Frequently Asked Questions

Gum disease can impact any individual who doesn’t maintain good oral hygiene. However, some people may be more prone to infection. 

Some factors that contribute to a higher risk of gum disease include:

  • Genetics
  • Pregnancy
  • Medications that reduce saliva production
  • Smoking or oral tobacco usage
  • Diabetes
  • Severe stress
  • Conditions that compromise immune systems (i.e. AIDS and cancer)

Gingivitis and periodontitis are two different stages of gum disease. The first stage of gum disease is gingivitis, which can lead to red, swollen gums that bleed on occasion. When left untreated, gingivitis often leads to periodontitis, a more severe form of the disease. 

If you aren’t sure what gum disease stage you’re suffering from, schedule your appointment with Dr. Leitner at our Grand Haven dental practice. Dr. Leitner will assess your condition and provide you with the treatment you need.

If left untreated, periodontitis results in pain, swelling, bad breath, and tooth loss. Gum disease is the number one cause of tooth loss in adults. It can result in serious oral health complications. The infection may enter your bloodstream, putting you at risk for rheumatoid arthritis, respiratory disease, and heart disease.

Visit John Leitner, DDS Today!

Protecting your gums will help your smile last a lifetime. When you come in for your regular teeth cleaning and exam, we’ll check your gums for disease and monitor the state of your oral health. 

If you develop gum disease, Dr. Leitner provides gentle and effective treatment to restore your gums to their best condition. To learn more, call our Grand Haven dental office at (616) 842-2850, or fill out our easy contact form below.