Periodontal disease, also known as periodontitis, is a disease that targets the gums and the bone that supports teeth. While it is a common gum infection, it can quickly develop into a serious issue if not treated properly. Let’s dive into the basics of periodontal disease to better understand the causes, symptoms, and warning signs.
Periodontitis is the result of infection and inflammation of the gums and the bone that supports your teeth. There are 4 stages to periodontal disease: gingivitis, initial periodontitis, mild periodontitis, and progressive periodontitis. A periodontist, or a dentist who specializes in the gums and treating gum disease, uses these distinctions to assess the severity and determine which treatment is best.
Gingivitis is relatively common, but can be amended with proper oral hygiene practices. If not treated, it continues to develop. This will cause the gums to pull away and teeth to loosen and fall. At this point, periodontal treatment from a professional is needed.
What causes periodontal disease?
Periodontal disease is caused by bacteria, known as plaque, building up in the mouth. When plaque stays on teeth, it hardens and becomes tartar. This builds up under the gums and becomes harder to remove than plaque. Tartar needs to be removed professionally by a periodontist to prevent the further development of periodontal disease.
There are many lifestyle factors that will increase one’s risk for periodontal disease, including smoking, poor oral hygiene, and stress. Some preexisting conditions will also make you more susceptible to periodontal disease, including diabetes.
Warning Signs for Periodontal Disease
If you suspect you may have periodontal disease, there are a few signs you can look out for. First, analyze the health of your gums. You may have periodontal disease if you see the following symptoms:
- Swollen, red, or irritated
- Pulling away from teeth
Other signs to look out for are regarding the quality of your teeth. If it hurts to chew or if your teeth begin to loosen, periodontitis might be the reason.
Periodontal disease is the leading cause of adult tooth loss. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, it should be taken very seriously. Recognizing these symptoms and getting help early on is the best way to prevent extreme bone loss and the pain that comes with periodontal disease.
Periodontal disease can be painful, but having the right periodontist can make the treatment process comfortable and easy. Here at Village Periodontics, we are a caring team that seeks to meet your oral health needs. Contact us today to book an appointment!