Smiling woman holding ice cream cone

Gum Disease

Do you suffer from bleeding gums, bad breath, and sensitive teeth? You may have gum disease, which can lead to tooth loss without treatment.

A skilled periodontist, Dr. Cheryl L. Cushman can diagnose and treat gum disease using state-of-the-art technology and techniques.

Learn how Atlanta West Periodontics & Dental Implants restores the health of patients in Lithia Springs, Douglasville, and Mableton, GA...

What Is Gum Disease?

Also known as periodontal disease, gum disease is the infection of the gums. If this inflammation is left untreated, it can also affect the jawbone and lead to tooth loss. Gum disease is typically caused by the bacteria that naturally occurs within the mouth.

Many adults suffer from some form of periodontal disease...

The Stages of Gum Disease

There are three different stages of periodontal disease. Early detection and treatment are always best for restoring your oral health and minimizing the need for more costly, time-consuming, and invasive treatments.


Gingivitis is the earliest stage of gum disease. In this stage, the gum tissue becomes inflamed as plaque accumulates on the teeth along the gumline. Gingivitis is the easiest type of gum disease to treat.


During periodontitis, the inflammation affects deeper levels of the gum tissue, causing gum recession. Periodontitis can also affect the structure of the jawbone, make your teeth loosen in the process.

Advanced Periodontitis

Advanced periodontitis involves severe damage to the gums and jawbone. Patients suffer from sore and sensitive teeth, and may even experience tooth loss.

Gum Disease Symptoms


  • Bleeding gums
  • Swollen gums
  • Red, purple, or darkened gums
  • Pus between the teeth and gums
  • Sensitive teeth
  • Receding gums
  • Bad breath
  • Loose teeth

Common Risk Factors What Makes Periodontal Disease More Likely?

Advanced Age

Periodontal disease is more common as you get older. In fact, the CDC notes that over 70 percent of people age 65 and older have gum disease.

Smoking and Chewing Tobacco

Cigarettes and smokeless tobacco make gingivitis and advanced periodontal problems more likely, on top of many other general health risks.

Poor Dental Hygiene

A lack of regular brushing and flossing can result in excess plaque buildup and an increased risk of gum disease, as well as tooth decay.

Genetic Predispositions

If your family has a history of gingivitis or periodontitis, you may be more susceptible to the condition because of your genetic makeup.

Dry Mouth

A lack of saliva means that bacteria and fungi in the mouth can thrive uncontrolled. Dry mouth also increases the risk of tooth decay.

Systemic Conditions

Several health problems and medical conditions are linked to gum disease, including diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and rheumatoid arthritis.

Do You Have Gum Disease? Contact Dr. Cushman for Your Treatment Options

If you experience any of the symptoms listed above, it's important that you visit Dr. Cushman. An experienced periodontist serving the greater Douglasville and Mableton, GA, areas, she can diagnose your condition and determine which treatment or combination of treatments will restore your oral health.

Entirely staffed by women, Atlanta West Periodontics & Dental Implants provides attentive, compassionate dental care with a focus on total wellness that lasts for years to come. Whether you suffer from gingivitis, periodontitis, or advanced periodontitis, we can develop a custom treatment plan just for you.

If you suffer from gum disease and would like to learn about your treatment options, contact our practice online. You can also schedule an appointment at our Lithia Springs, GA, office by phone.

Call Our Dental Office

(770) 739-5097

Dental patient

“Caring and professional.”


Randall Paige


Google logo

Everyone was very attentive and thoughtful. Cindy seems very capable and very personable.

View On Google

Lisa Beal


Google logo

Have been going to this office for a few years now and I can still say that Dr. Cushman and her staff (Penny, Tabitha) remain caring and professional. Thanks again for all you do!

View On Google
Smiling senior man at family gathering Smiling senior man at family gathering

Scaling and Root Planing

Sometimes referred to a dental deep cleaning, scaling and root planing is a common procedure used to treat gingivitis and prevent further progression of periodontal disease. This dental procedure can be performed using sedation dentistry to minimize discomfort.


Scaling refers to scraping away plaque that's accumulated around the teeth and tooth roots. Plaque is also removed from any pockets that have developed between the gums and the teeth.

Root Planing

Performed after scaling, root planing smooths down the root of the tooth. By smoothing down the tooth root, it's easier for the gums to reattach to the base of the tooth.

“Dr. Cushman and staff are amazing, sensitive, and caring. I've been their client for over 5 years and wouldn't dream of going anywhere else for my periodontal treatments.” Shavonne Herr - 5 Star Google Review

If periodontal disease caused tooth loss, we have ways to restore your smile...

Gum Disease and Implants Treatments for Tooth Loss

If gum disease goes untreated, it can lead to tooth loss and other oral health issues. When the periodontal disease is under control, dental implants may be recommended to replace the patient's missing teeth. These artificial tooth roots can support a crown, bridge, or denture with remarkable stability.

Peri-Implantitis A Problem Much Like Gum Disease

People with dental implants may experience a condition that is similar to gum disease known as peri-implantitis. Peri-implantitis causes inflammation of the gum tissue around the implant and the loss of alveolar bone supporting the implant. Left untreated, it can cause implant failure as well as many other general and dental health problems.

Peri-Implantitis Risk Factors

Some common risk factors associated with peri-implantitis include:

  • Poor oral hygiene
  • Use of tobacco products
  • Uncontrolled diabetes
  • Obesity

Treatments for Peri-Implantitis

When treating peri-implantitis, good oral hygiene and topical treatments are usually not enough. More involved therapies are required to treat the affected gum tissue and prevent the loss of additional bone around the implant. During a consultation with Dr. Cushman in Lithia Springs, GA, you can learn more about oral surgery treatments and other procedures that can help bring the condition under control.

Woman touching jaw in pain

Which Treatment Is Right for Me?


Whether you suffer from gingivitis, periodontitis, or advanced periodontitis, Atlanta West Periodontics & Dental Implants will develop a custom treatment just for you. After getting the periodontal disease under control, we will offer aftercare advice that can help you manage future cases of gingivitis and advanced gum disease.

Dr. Cheryl L. Cushman

Atlanta West Periodontics & Dental Implants

Dr. Cheryl L. Cushman and her team are dedicated to offering state-of-the-art care while prioritizing patient comfort. Dr. Cushman is affiliated with several prestigious organizations:

  • The American Academy of Periodontology
  • The Georgia Society of Periodontists - President 2004-2006
  • The Southern Academy of Periodontology
  • The American Dental Association
  • The Georgia Dental Association
  • The Northwestern District Dental Society
  • The Hinman Dental Society

To schedule an appointment, contact our practice online or call (770) 739-5097.

Contact Us Today

Rate, Review & Explore

Social Accounts Sprite
Google map image of our location in 2168 Skyview Dr  Lithia Springs, GA

Lithia Springs, GA

2168 Skyview Dr
Lithia Springs, GA 30122

Open Today 8:00am - 2:00pm

(770) 739-5097 Send a message