Periodontal disease is also called gum disease. It is a serious gum infection that damages the soft tissue and causes tooth loss if left untreated. Periodontal disease has also been linked to other health problems.
There are two basic types of gum disease – gingivitis and periodontitis. Most adults have some form of gum disease and may not realize it. Research shows that gum diseases can affect your heart and life expectancy.
Risk Factors of Periodontal Disease
- Poor oral hygiene
- Recreational drug use
- Hormonal changes (pregnancy or menopause)
- Poor nutrition
- Medications that cause dry mouth
- Immunosuppression (leukemia, HIV/AIDS, cancer)
- Diseases (diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, Crohn's disease)
What is Gingivitis?
Gingivitis is irritation and inflammation of the gum tissue around the base of your teeth (gingiva). It causes your gums to bleed or swell. Ongoing gum inflammation can cause periodontitis and can put a strain on your immune system.
Plaque can also cause gingivitis, the mildest form of gum disease. Gingivitis can be reversed with professional treatment and good home oral care.
What is Periodontitis?
Periodontitis is common in adults, but preventable. In most cases, periodontitis starts with plaque — a sticky film composed mainly of bacteria. Plaque can harden under your gumline into tartar (calculus). Tartar is more difficult to remove, and it's filled with bacteria. The longer plaque and tartar remain on your teeth, the more damage they can do.
Gums begin to separate from the teeth, forming pockets (spaces between the teeth and gums) that become infected with plaque, tartar, and bacteria. As the pockets deepen and more gum tissue and bone are destroyed. Eventually, teeth can become loose and may have to be removed.
Symptoms of periodontitis can include:
- Swollen, red or purplish gums
- Gums bleed easily when brushing or flossing
- Bad breath
- Painful chewing
- Spaces begin to develop between your teeth
- Teeth begin to loosen
Having healthy teeth and gums is important to your overall well-being. At Webster Dental we make your health a priority. Our soft tissue management program focuses on preventing and treating gum disease (periodontal disease). Our soft tissue management program teaches you good dental hygiene you can use at home. Call Webster Dental today at 630.663.0554.