Also known as gum disease; this is a serious infection in your gums that is mainly caused by bacterial plaque that is constantly forming on your teeth. When plaque isn’t removed by brushing, flossing and regular dental cleanings, it can turn to tartar—a hard substance that can only be removed by a dentist.
When left in your mouth, plaque and tartar can cause inflammation of your gums which can develop into infections below the gum line causing the gum to separate from your teeth creating pockets that become infected and can even fill with pus. As the pockets deepen and the disease becomes more pronounced, bone and gum tissue are destroyed which can ultimately result in tooth loss, and periodontal disease is stealthy; usually giving no or very few signs of its existence. Regular dental checkups can detect periodontal disease at even its earliest stages.
Stages of Periodontal Disease
Build-up of plaque results in periodontal disease which can be classified by various stages. It is well known that plaque-induced inflammations form the major chunk of periodontal issues which can be divided into two categories: gingivitis and periodontitis. Gingivitis is less serious than periodontitis and most likely doesn’t progress into periodontitis.
- Mild Periodontitis
- Moderate to Advanced Periodontitis
Various symptoms of Periodontal disease
- Bleeding gums when brushing or flossing
- Tender gums
- Loose teeth, Swollen/Receding gums
- Persistent bad breath
- Deep pockets between teeth and gums
- Change in bite or jaw alignment
Factors contributing to Periodontal disease include:
- Poor oral hygiene
- Smoking or using Smokeless tobacco
- Autoimmune diseases
- Hormonal changes in the body
- Certain medications
Since periodontal disease is created by plaque and tartar buildup on your gums, good dental hygiene is a must in preventing gum disease. And along with good daily oral hygiene habits, regular visits to your dentist for checkups and professional cleanings involving scaling and root planing that will remove plaque or tartar buildup, will help keep your gums healthy and free of periodontal disease and infections.