What is Periodontal Disease?


Periodontal disease is a leading cause of tooth loss. Also known as gum disease, periodontal disease is the chronic inflammation of the gums or the soft tissues surrounding the affected tooth. It can range from mild to serious periodontal disease.

The mild form of periodontal disease is called gingivitis, which is the inflammation of gums. Thi  is characterized by red, swollen, and bleeding gums and reversible with the practice of good oral hygiene. However, if left untreated gingivitis can lead to periodontitis – a more serious form of periodontal disease.

Periodontitis is the condition where the soft tissue surrounding each tooth is inflamed. It is characterized by the presence of bad breath, dental pocket formation, and receding gums. If left untreated, this could lead to tooth loss.

What causes periodontal disease?

Periodontal disease is caused by the presence of bacteria in your mouth that when combined with high sugar food debris, could result to formation of dental plaques. When the plaque accumulates and hardens into tartar, it could irritate and inflame the gums or the surrounding tissues of the teeth. The inflammation could lead to infection. The bacteria will then descend on the tooth’s gum pocket where plaque could form and eventually harden. When it calcifies, it would be harder to remove thus allowing the progression of the infection to the connective tissues of the tooth.

Getting Periodontal Infection Treated Right Away

If you want to avoid the need for a dental bridge or a dental treatment that replaces lost teeth, you will have to treat gum disease on the stage when it is still treatable. Your dentist will need to address gum disease conditions when they are still on the early onset, so that success could be guaranteed.

Symptoms of Periodontal Disease Infection

Periodontal infection is usually painless until it reaches an advanced stage. However, there are some symptoms which can indicate the presence of periodontal infection:

  1. Red or swollen gums
  2. Bleeding when brushing
  3. Aching, itchy, sore or tender gums
  4. Receding gums (teeth beginning to look longer)
  5. Pus between your teeth and gums when you press down on the gums
  6. Bad breath
  7. Any change in the way your teeth fit together when you bite
  8. Any change in the fit of partial dentures
  9. Loose, separating or protruding teeth
  10. Spaces between teeth

If you notice any of the above warning signs of periodontal infection, please contact our office and ask for a periodontal evaluation.