Man holding mouth in pain from gum disease

Gum Disease

Gum disease is an infection that causes inflammation of the gums. If left unchecked, it can lead to gum recession and tooth loss.

Fortunately, a periodontist can use a variety of treatment options to protect your smile.

Learn how Dr. James M. Vlassis in Fayetteville, NY, can improve your gum health, protect your teeth, and restore your jawbone.

How Gum Disease Progresses

Periodontal disease occurs when bacteria build up in the tissue that supports your teeth. It infects the soft tissue and bone, weakening them over time. It's a progressive disease that starts as gingivitis and advances to a more serious condition.


Gingivitis is a mild form of gum disease that can be easily reversed by receiving regular professional cleanings from your dentist and following an at-home oral care routine that involves brushing your teeth twice a day, flossing once a day, and using a fluoride mouthwash.

Early warning signs of gingivitis include:

  • Red, tender, bleeding, or irritated gums
  • Sensitive teeth
  • Pain when chewing
  • Bad breath
  • Persistent bad taste in your mouth
Gum recession

Advanced Gum Disease

When left untreated, gingivitis can progress to a more serious form of periodontal disease that requires professional treatment. There are many treatment options available, depending on the severity of your periodontal disease. Your periodontist will try to use less invasive options first.

Warning signs of gum disease include:

  • Severe bad breath
  • Pockets between the tooth and gum
  • Gum recession
  • Loose teeth or misalignment
  • Bone loss or tooth loss


Periodontal disease can have a severe impact on a person's oral health, making it important to seek treatment if you're suffering from the condition.

Our all-digital dental practice helps patients throughout Fayetteville, Syracuse, and beyond by providing treatment for periodontal disease. Our periodontist can help you maintain your oral health so you can enjoy full functionality and a beautiful smile for years to come.

Though you can request an appointment online, our Fayetteville, NY, office invites you to call us and fill out our new patient form and HIPAA form. By calling, we can assist you immediately, answer any questions you may have, and check our availability:

(315) 637-0777

Vlassis Office exterior
Our practice in Fayetteville, NY.

"Courteous and efficient"


Judy Gerthoffer


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Courteous and efficient personnel all around! My periodic cleanings with Jodi are a real pleasure - she is like a friend and helpful with her expertise. It always amazes me at how thorough and efficiently she operates, with attention to my comfort by letting me know what she is doing and specific instruction. I appreciate Dr. Vlassis's examination, keeping me current with his assessment. An all around pleasant experience.

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Yvonne Carr


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Consultation visit. The office was very clean. They have taken great care to protect the health of the patients. Everyone was very friendly. Dr. Vlassis was very nice and thoroughly explained the procedure that I am going to have done. I felt comfortable and confident with my choice.

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Treatment Options for Gum Disease

Depending on the severity of your gum disease, multiple treatment options can be used to improve the health of your gums and teeth.

Treatments we can perform include:


Your periodontist may be able to treat your gum disease with localized antibiotics. These antibiotics can eliminate the bacteria that is causing your decay. Though antibiotics alone can sometimes be enough to reverse the progression of your gum disease, they can also be combined with other treatments.

Root Scaling and Planing

Root scaling and planing, also called periodontal deep cleaning, is an effective two-part procedure to treat gum disease. First, you will receive a thorough cleaning above and below the gumline to remove plaque, tartar, and bacteria. The tooth roots are then smoothed to prevent bacteria from accumulating and to help the gums reattach.  We ensure your comfort by using a local anesthetic to numb the area.

Procedures for More Advanced Cases

Dr. Vlassis will always prioritize your comfort by trying to treat your gum disease with noninvasive and nonsurgical methods. However, some severe cases may require more advanced procedures to treat gum disease and the complications it may have caused. Some procedures and restorative treatments we can perform for our patients throughout Fayetteville and Syracuse include:

Pocket Reduction

When root scaling and planing aren't enough to treat your periodontitis, you may require pocket reduction. This procedure removes the bacteria trapped between the teeth and gums as well as the diseased gum tissue. Your teeth roots can then be smoothed to prevent bacteria from growing on the surface. Your gums are then sutured in a way that reduces pocket depth.

Pocket Reduction

Gum Graft

Periodontitis can cause gum recession, which can lead to tooth sensitivity, loose teeth, exposed tooth roots, and deep pockets between the tooth and gum that collect debris. A gum graft, like a connective-tissue graft or free gingival graft, is a dentistry solution that can restore your gumline and protect your teeth following gum recession.

Ask About Gum Grafts

Bone Regeneration

As periodontitis progresses, bone loss can occur. Our periodontist can use bone or a material similar to bone to reinforce and stabilize weakened areas in your jaw, preventing further bone loss and the long-term health complications bone loss causes. If a missing tooth has led to bone loss, grafting can make you eligible for dental implants. 

Ask About Bone Grafting

Keeping Gum Disease in Check With Periodontal Maintenance

Once advanced gum disease is under control, you may be advised to undergo regular periodontal maintenance treatments every three to four months. Unlike a routine dental cleaning, periodontal maintenance is a more thorough gum and bone care procedure that disrupts bacteria growth in your gums. Our regular maintenance procedures help you avoid more extensive periodontal treatments that would be necessary if bacteria are left to multiply and attack tooth structures.

What Sets Our Periodontist Apart In Central New York

Handles the Hard Cases

Dr. Vlassis is the doctor other dentists turn to when they have a patient with a difficult gum disease case, including cases where gum disease has caused significant damage to tissue. He is a diplomate of the American Board of Periodontology and has published more than 40 articles in his field.

Double Board-Certified

Dr. Vlassis is board-certified in both periodontics and implant dentistry. He is the only dentist within a 100-mile radius of Fayetteville to have this distinction in both areas of dentistry. These certifications require hundreds of hours of training, meaning you're in good hands when you choose James M. Vlassis, DDS.

30+ Years of Experience

Our head practitioner Dr. James Vlassis has over 30 years of experience in the field of periodontal medicine and every year adds more expertise through continuing education on the latest techniques and participation in dentistry groups.

Puts Patients First

We are a patient-focused practice. Dr. Vlassis is committed to providing patients with a serene and welcoming environment for their gum disease treatments. His calm, reassuring manner and ability to explain procedures thoroughly gives patients the information they need and a reason to return, time and again.

Gum Disease Linked To Multiple Health Issues

When periodontal disease is ignored, it can cause serious oral health problems that can be expensive to fix, such as tooth loss that can require dental implants. In severe cases, periodontal disease can impact your body's overall health, leading to problems like pneumonia, diabetes, and rheumatoid arthritis. It has even been linked to heart and lung disease.

Gum Disease Risk Factors

Though regular checkups with your dentist and an oral hygiene routine can help prevent gingivitis, certain risk factors can increase the risk of poor gum health, including:

  • Tobacco use
  • Obesity
  • Hormonal changes
  • Poor nutrition
  • Family history of gum disease
  • Inflammatory diseases
  • The use of certain medications

"Dr. Vlassis went above and beyond"


Janelle Zamierowski


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Dr. Vlassis went above and beyond. Very understanding of what I was asking for. Took the time to explain everything. I am very pleased with his work, professionalism and kindness. His staff are also great! Would highly recommend.

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Beth Crawford


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Dr. Vlassis and his staff have been wonderful during my dental work at his office. They have explained everything very well and made me feel very comfortable during my procedures. I would not hesitate to recommend Dr. Vlassis and his team.

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James M. Vlassis DDS, MS, PC Periodontal Care & Dental Implants

Dr. James Vlassis is a board-certified periodontist who offers treatment of the very highest caliber. Patients choose him because of several distinctions. 

  • Is the only diplomate of the American Board of Periodontology in the area
  • Holds a United States Patent on dental implants
  • Has performed more than 25,000 implant procedures
  • Has published more than 40 articles in his field

Schedule a consultation at our office today by calling (315) 637-0777.

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