What Is Periodontal Disease?
The word periodontal means “around the tooth”. Periodontal disease attacks the gums and the bone that support the teeth. Plaque is a sticky film of food debris, bacteria, and saliva. If plaque is not removed, it turns into calculus (tartar). When plaque and calculus are not removed, they begin to destroy the gums and bone, causing gum disease, tooth decay, or even tooth loss. Periodontal disease is characterized by red, swollen, and bleeding gums.
How Do I Know If I Have Periodontal Disease?
Four out of five people have periodontal disease and don’t know it! Most people are not aware if they have periodontal disease because it is usually painless in the early stages.
Not only is it the number one reason for tooth loss, research suggests that there may be a link between periodontal disease and other diseases such as, stroke, bacterial pneumonia, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and increased risk during pregnancy. Researchers are determining if inflammation and bacteria associated with periodontal disease affects these systemic diseases and conditions. Smoking also increases the risk of periodontal disease.
Signs and Symptoms of Periodontal Disease:
- Bleeding gums – Gums should never bleed, even when you brush vigorously or use dental floss.
- Loose teeth – Also caused by bone loss or weakened periodontal fibers (fibers that support the tooth to the bone).
- 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 gum around a tooth.
- Red and puffy gums – Gums should never be red or swollen.
- Tenderness or Discomfort – Plaque, calculus, and bacteria irritate the gums and teeth.
How Can I Avoid Gum Disease?
Good oral hygiene, a balanced diet, developing good oral home care habits (brushing and flossing), and maintaining regular dental visits can help reduce your risk of developing periodontal disease.
Schedule An Appointment
If you show any of the symptoms above, please call our Tempe dental office today for an appointment.