John E. Adcock, DDS, MS


















Thank you for visiting this website. My office is a specialty dental practice limited to clinical periodontics. Periodontal diseases manifest a variety of clinical presentations which vary from mild to severe problems that may result in premature tooth loss. Problems commonly treated by a periodontist include: gingivitis, various forms of periodontitis (gingival inflammation with associated loss of supporting bone around the tooth), various forms of peri-implantitis (gingival inflammation with associated loss of supporting bone around the implant), gingival recession and oral medicine (diagnosing and treating a variety of less common conditions that can affect the oral cavity). Simple problems in these areas of clinical periodontics are often treated by your family dentist. 


The two most common forms of periodontal disease are gingivitis and periodontitis. Peri-implantitis is increasing in frequency as more people have implants placed. All of these disease processes involve an interaction of bacteria found in dental plaque and the patients immune system. A simple explanation is the more exposure to bacteria in plaque, the more severe is the inflammation and bone destruction. There is a variation between patients as to who will have severe plaque induced inflammation and bone loss. This is genetically influenced which means some families will have members with periodontal problems and some families will not. 


Treating periodontal disease involves reducing the exposure to bacterial plaque by improved home care and a more frequent cleaning program for long term success. Most patients begin with an initial period of non-surgical treatment to reduce harmful accumulations of plaque and calculus from both above and beneath the gum line. Both surgical and non-surgical options exist for a patient to choose from for long term treatment of periodontitis and peri-implantitis. Surgical options include regenerative procedures to regrow bone lost around the tooth or implant to help prevent loss of the tooth or implant. 


As the molecular basis of disease processes are beginning to be determined, unsuspected associations between diseases are being found. The research supporting these associations is still early but stimulating much speculation as to how different disease processes may interact. Periodontal disease has possible associations with a variety of other inflammatory diseases including but not limited to rheumatoid arthritis and various forms of vascular disease (cardiovascular, stroke and peripheral artery disease). The association may be weak or significant, but the answer presently remains to be determined with certainty. It does appear that periodontal disease or the bacteria associated with the periodontal inflammation are not causative agents, but they may be modifying factors. At this point, the role of periodontal disease in modifying or causing problems at distant locations in the body is not conclusively proven. 


If you are having problems with bleeding sore gums, loose teeth, or receding gingival margins from around a tooth or dental implants, periodontal therapy may be of benefit to you. If you have a family dentist, it would be appropriate to begin with an examination in their office if your believe the case is early. Treatment of advanced periodontal disease involves both the family dentist and the periodontist. If you do not have a general dentist, a trusted colleague will be recommended to you.