What is periodontal disease?
Periodontal diseases are mainly the result of infections and inflammation of the gums and loss of the bone that surround and support the teeth (CDC, 2013). In its early stage, called gingivitis, the gums can become swollen and red, and they may bleed. In its more serious and advanced form, called periodontitis, the gums can pull away from the tooth, bone can be lost, and the teeth may loosen or even fall out. Periodontal disease is mostly seen in adults, however rarely can also be seen in childhood. Periodontal disease and tooth decay are the two biggest threats to dental health.
Bacteria in the mouth infect tissue surrounding the tooth, causing inflammation around the tooth leading to periodontal disease. When bacteria stay on the teeth long enough, they form a film called plaque, which eventually hardens to tartar, also called calculus. Tartar build-up can spread below the gum line, which makes the teeth harder to clean. Then, only a dental health professional can remove the tartar and stop the periodontal disease process.
The following are warning signs of periodontal disease:
Plaque is the primary cause of gum disease. However, other factors can contribute to periodontal disease (NHS, 2022). These include:
Prevention and treatment
Gingivitis can be controlled and treated with good oral hygiene and regular professional cleaning. More severe forms of periodontal disease can also be treated successfully but may require more extensive treatment. Such treatment might include deep cleaning of the tooth root surfaces below the gums, medications prescribed to take by mouth or placed directly under the gums, and sometimes corrective surgery.
To help prevent or control periodontal diseases, it is important to:
For more information on gum disease or if you have any concerns about the health of your gums, feel free to contact us.
Gum disease (no date) nhs.uk. Available at: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/gum-disease/ (Accessed: June 14, 2022).
Periodontal disease (2018) Cdc.gov. Available at: https://www.cdc.gov/oralhealth/conditions/periodontal-disease.html (Accessed: June 14, 2022).< Back to blog