Periodontal Disease is a gradual and ongoing infection of the gums and bone that surround your teeth. It is often painless.
Periodontal disease attacks the gums and bone that support teeth. When plaque and calculus are not removed from the teeth, they begin to destroy the gums and bone. The most common type of periodontal disease is gingivitis which is a scientific name for red, swollen and bleeding gums.
Four out of five people have periodontal disease and likely do not know because the early stages of periodontal disease are painless.
Periodontal disease is the leading cause of tooth loss. As well, there is research that suggests a link between periodontal disease and other diseases such as stroke, cardiovascular (heart and blood vessels) disease, and diabetes. Also, if you are pregnant and have periodontal disease, there is an increased risk of having a low birth weight baby. Researchers are also in the process of determining the link between periodontal disease and inflammation in the body. Smoking also increases the risk of periodontal disease.
You may have periodontal disease if you have any of the following signs and symptoms:
- Bleeding gums – gums should never bleed even when you brush vigorously or use dental floss
- Loose teeth – caused by the loss or destruction of bone around the teeth by perdiontal disease
- New spacing between teeth – caused by bone loss
- Persistent bad breath – caused by bacteria in the mouth
- Pus around the teeth and gums – sign that there is an infection present
- Receding gums – loss of gums around the teeth
- Red and puffy gums – gums should never be red or swollen
- Tenderness or discomfort – plaque, calculus and bacteria irritate the gums and teeth
The good news if that periodontal disease can be prevented by good oral hygiene, a balanced diet, and regular dental visits.