What is periodontal (gum) disease?
This infection quickly spreads to the teeth and gums. Unfortunately, it is usually painless which make sit difficult to detect. Plaque and bacteria can create toxins that damage the gum tissues. During the initial stage, called gingivitis, patients may notice red, swollen gums that bleed easily. At this point in time, the condition is reversible and can be reduced with intensive oral health habits. The more advanced stages, known as periodontitis, can cause the teeth, gums, and bone to become seriously damaged and cannot be reversed, only controlled.
What are the signs of periodontal (gum) disease?
Dr. Mina Levi should be contacted as soon as possible if you notice these symptoms:
- Bleeding gums when brushing and flossing
- Tender, red, and swollen gum tissues
- Gums pulling away from the teeth and resulting in pockets
- Persistent bad breath
- Loose teeth
- Pus between gums and teeth
- Changes in your bite alignment
- Changes in the fit of partial dentures
Periodontal disease is an infection of the tissues that support your teeth. Your gum tissue is not attached to the teeth as high as it may seem. There is a very shallow v-shaped crevice called a sulcus between the tooth and gums. Periodontal diseases attack just below the gum line in the sulcus, where they cause the attachment of the tooth and its supporting tissues to break down. As the tissues are damaged, the sulcus develops into a pocket: generally, the more severe the disease, the greater the depth of the pocket. Periodontal diseases are classified according to the severity of the disease. The two major stages are gingivitis and periodontitis. Gingivitis is a milder and reversible form of periodontal disease that only affects the gums.Gingivitis may lead to more serious, destructive forms of periodontal disease called periodontitis.
Some factors increase the risk of developing periodontal disease:
- Tobacco smoking or chewing
- Systemic diseases such as diabetes
- Some types of medication such as steroids, anti-epilepsy drugs, cancer therapy drugs and some calcium channel blockers and oral contraceptives
- Bridges that no longer fit properly
- Crooked teeth
- Fillings that have become defective
- Pregnancy or use of oral contraceptives