About Periodontal Disease
Periodontal disease is a chronic disease involving bacterial infection of the gums and bone that support the teeth and can lead to tooth loss. It can affect one tooth or all the teeth.
Periodontal disease begins when the bacteria present in dental plaque cause the gums to become inflamed. This is called gingivitis and is the most mild form of the disease. Gingivitis is most commonly due to inadequate oral hygiene. Most cases involve little to no discomfort, but some bleeding when brushing may be noted. This stage of the disease is reversible with good oral hygiene and professional treatment.
If left untreated, gingivitis can progress into Periodontitis. The plaque and bacteria spread underneath the gum line and start to affect the deeper structures of the gums and bone. Toxins produced by the bacteria cause a chronic inflammatory response. This actually causes the body to in a way start to attack itself, leading to break down of the gum tissues and bone that support the teeth. Spaces (pockets) then form between the gums and the teeth where bacteria can build up and cause infections. As the disease progresses, these pockets deepen and more of the gum tissue and bone are destroyed.
Periodontal disease is associated with mild symptoms until it reaches the advanced stages.
Some symptoms that are associated with the disease are:
- Red, swollen or tender gums or other pain in your mouth
- Bleeding while brushing, flossing, or eating hard food
- Gums that are receding or pulling away from the teeth, causing the teeth to look longer than before
- Loose or separating teeth
- Pus between your gums and teeth
- Sores in your mouth
- Persistent bad breath
- A change in the way your teeth fit together when you bite
- A change in the fit of partial dentures
What factors may cause Periodontal Disease?
- Plaque/Poor Oral Hygiene
- Certain Systemic Diseases