Periodontal disease is a common gum infection, but one that can develop into a severe issue if not treated properly. Let’s dive into some of the basics of periodontal disease to better understand what it is, what causes it, and what it looks like.
What is periodontal disease?
In its many forms, periodontal disease is the result of infection and inflammation of gums and the bones that surround your teeth. There are four stages to periodontal disease, also referred to as periodontitis: gingivitis, initial periodontitis, mild periodontitis, and progressive periodontitis. These stages help distinguish the severity of periodontitis and what sort of treatment is needed.
Gingivitis is relatively common, but can be amended with proper oral hygiene practices. When it continues to develop, the gums will pull away and teeth may begin to loosen and fall. At this point, periodontal treatment from a professional is needed.
Periodontitis is caused by bacteria in the mouth building up. Bacteria on the mouth builds up and forms what is called plaque. When plaque stays on teeth long enough, it becomes tartar, which hardens and builds up under the gums. Tartar is more difficult to remove than plaque, as it must be professionally removed. Your local periodontist will be able to remove it and stop the further development of periodontal disease.
Several outlying factors may increase the risk for periodontal disease. Some predominant factors that will increase your risk for periodontitis include smoking, poor oral hygiene, and stress. Other preexisting conditions may also make you more susceptible to developing periodontal disease, including diabetes, immuno-deficiencies such as AIDs, and a hereditary predisposition to periodontal disease.
What to look out for
There are various signs to look out for if you suspect you may have periodontal disease. First, consider the state of your gums. Swollen, red, irritated gums are a big indicator of periodontal disease. If they bleed, or have begun to pull away from teeth, it’ll be wise to consult your local periodontist.
Other signs to keep an eye out for are regarding the quality of your teeth. If it hurts to chew, if your teeth feel increasingly sensitive, or if your teeth begin to loosen, periodontal disease may be the cause.
Experiencing any of these symptoms should be taken very seriously, as periodontal disease is the leading cause of adult tooth loss. It’s best to recognize these symptoms and seek help early on to prevent the development of periodontitis.
Periodontal disease can sound intimidating, but finding the right periodontist can make the treatment process comfortable and easy. Village Periodontics and Implant Center is a welcoming and caring team that seeks to meet your oral health needs. With Village Periodontics, you’re in good hands!