612 West De Leon Street Tampa, FL 33606

Periodontal Disease Treatment Tampa, FL

Gum disease is a widespread but damaging dental problem. It affects not only the gums but the health of the teeth. Gum disease begins when harmful bacteria build up between teeth and on the gum tissue, irritating and inflaming the gums. Over time, it can lead to gum recession and even loose teeth. Dr. Rebecca Benedict can restore patients’ oral health in Tampa, FL, with periodontal disease treatment.

Treating gum disease is a part of restorative dental care. Gum therapy can help renew the health and function of the teeth and gums.

Gum Disease in Tampa, Florida

Signs of Gum Disease

While gum disease begins with gum inflammation, harmful bacteria can quickly affect the teeth and gums. This bacteria builds up to form plaque, a bacterial film covering teeth and gums. Over time, plaque hardens to form calculus. Bacterial buildup irritates and inflames the gum tissue, leading to gum sensitivity. 

We will examine your teeth and gums at regular dental checkups for signs of tooth decay and gum disease. Common symptoms of gum disease we will look for include: 

  • Bleeding gums
  • Red and purple gums
  • Bad breath (halitosis)
  • Swollen gum tissue
  • Pus between the teeth and gums
  • Receding gums
  • Loose teeth

Please contact our office for treatment if you have noticed any of these symptoms. Gum disease can begin with bleeding gums and quickly turn into gum recession if you do not floss or brush enough. Treating gum disease is essential for your dental health and overall health. 

Factors that Contribute to Gum Disease

Some medical conditions and even lifestyle choices can increase the chance of developing gum disease. Some conditions tied to gum disease include:


High blood sugar increases sugar in the saliva. Sugars and starches in the mouth attract harmful bacteria that cause gum disease. As bacteria feed on the sugars and starches, they produce digestive acids that break down the gum tissue. If you have diabetes, keeping your blood pressure low can reduce your risk of gum disease. 

Heart Problems

When you develop gum disease, harmful bacteria inflame the gums. As inflammation from gum disease enters the blood vessels, it can affect different body parts. If you have heart problems and develop gum disease, you will likely experience increased heart issues.


Tobacco products contain nicotine, which restricts the blood vessels. This makes it difficult for your gums to heal properly if you develop gum disease.

Using tobacco can also increase your chance of developing dry mouth. Dry mouth occurs when you do not have enough saliva in the mouth. Saliva helps wash away food debris and bacteria. Harmful bacteria thrive in this dry environment. As a result, smokers often encounter gum problems.


Hormonal changes during pregnancy can lead to gum disease. Increased levels of the hormone progesterone can lead to gum sensitivity. Pregnant women can often notice problems like bleeding gum when they brush their teeth.

While some patients may think they can’t see the dentist when pregnant, visiting the dentist for routine care is safe. We recommend that you visit our office for deep cleaning if you are pregnant and notice sensitive and bleeding gums. Visiting our office for a cleaning will prevent gum inflammation from becoming gum disease.

Stages of Gum Disease

Knowing the stages of gum disease can help you understand what treatment to expect as gum disease progresses. There are four stages of gum disease:

  • Gingivitis: Also known as gum inflammation, gingivitis is the only reversible stage of gum disease. You will notice bleeding gums and irritated gum tissue when brushing your teeth at this stage. Brushing and flossing twice daily will help prevent inflammation from developing into gum disease. We will also recommend that you visit our office for a deep cleaning.
  • Mild Periodontitis: As gingivitis becomes gum disease, you will notice gum pockets as the gums detach from teeth. Harmful bacteria can harden to form tartar. You will need scaling and root planing to remove bacteria from the gums and tooth roots. 
  • Moderate Periodontitis: As gum pockets deepen, bacteria damage the ligaments that support your teeth and gums. Only professional dental treatment can keep moderate gum disease in check. We often recommend that you visit our office more than two times a year for regular deep gum cleanings.
  • Advanced Periodontitis: This is the final stage of gum disease. Large gum pockets will expose the tooth roots as the infection breaks down the gum tissue. You may also experience tooth loss due to deep gum pockets. Only oral surgery can restore your teeth and gums if you have advanced gum disease.

Periodontal Disease Treatment in Tampa, FL

In-office cleanings are essential to removing decay-causing bacteria from the gums. Depending on the extent of your gum disease, we may recommend one of the following treatments:

Routine Dental Cleaning

A prophylaxis cleaning removes plaque and calculus from the teeth and gums with stainless steel dental tools. We offer this cleaning at routine appointments to help prevent gum disease. First, we scale the teeth. This part of the cleaning process is essential for patients with gum disease.

Scaling removes plaque and calculus above and below the gum line. Then, we floss between each tooth and polish the teeth for a natural shine. 

Gum Cleaning

Scaling and root planing treatment removes plaque and calculus from the crown and root. This is a therapeutic, not prophylactic (preventative) treatment. As with a routine cleaning, we remove bacteria with scaling treatment. Then, during root planing, we smooth the tooth roots. Root planing ensures that the teeth do not separate from the gums.

We also offer Oraqix, a needle-free anesthetic for SRP treatment. This ensures you do not feel any pain during this cleaning.

WaterLase Cleaning

We can also treat infected gum tissue with a dental laser. The Waterlase laser offers a comfortable alternative to traditional surgical tools. This dental laser can clean the gum pockets and debride soft and hard tissue. This removes hard calculus from the smile. Calculus is a hard bacterial buildup that is hard to remove at home. With a laser, we can easily remove plaque and tartar from the gums.

Compared to traditional dental tools, lasers like the Waterlase are much quieter. With water and heat, the Waterlase laser can precisely treat the gums without affecting the other tissues.

Address Your Gum Health

Are you noticing signs of gum inflammation or gum disease? Schedule a dental appointment with Dr. Benedict online. You can also call Dr. Benedict for care today at 813-733-6981. Let us know if you have any concerns about gum health or questions about gum disease treatment. We’re here to help you.