The word periodontal means “around the tooth.” Periodontal disease attacks the gums and bone that support the teeth.
Plaque is a sticky film of food debris, bacteria, and saliva. If plaque is not removed, it turns into tartar. When plaque and tartar are not removed, they begin to destroy the gums and bone.
Periodontal disease is characterized by red, swollen, and bleeding gums. Four out of five people have periodontal disease and don’t know it. Most people are not aware of it because the disease is usually painless in the early stages.
Not only is it the number one reason for tooth loss, research suggests 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 affect these systemic diseases and conditions. Smoking also increases the risk of periodontal disease.
Signs and symptoms of periodontal disease:
- Bleeding gums - They should never bleed, even when you brush vigorously or use dental floss.
- Loose teeth caused by bone loss or weakened periodontal fibers that support the tooth to the bone.
- New spacing between teeth caused by bone loss.
- Persistent bad breath caused by bacteria in your mouth.
- Pus around the teeth and gums - A sign that there is an infection present.
- Receding gums - Loss of gum around a tooth.
- Red and puffy gums - They should never be red or swollen.
- Tenderness or Discomfort - Plaque, tartar, and bacteria irritate your gums and teeth.