Periodontal disease is a swelling of the gums that can progress to affect the bone that surrounds and supports your teeth. It is brought on by the bacteria in plaque, a sticky, colorless movie that continuously forms on your teeth.
If not eliminated through daily brushing and flossing, plaque can build up and the bacteria infect not just your gums and teeth, but eventually the gum tissue and bone that support the teeth. This can cause them to end up being loose, fall out or have to be eliminated by a dental professional.
Periodontal Disease Stages
There are 3 stages of Periodontal disease:
- Gingivitis: this is the earliest stage of gum disease, a swelling of the gums triggered by plaque accumulation at the gumline. If everyday brushing and flossing do not eliminate the plaque, it produces contaminants (toxins) that can aggravate the gum tissue, causing gingivitis. You might see some bleeding during brushing and flossing. At this early stage in gum disease, damage can be reversed, since the bone and connective tissue that hold the teeth in place are not yet impacted. So, it is early (or first) stage of periodontal disease.
- Periodontitis: at this stage, the supporting bone and fibers that hold your teeth in place are irreversibly damaged. Your gums might begin to form a pocket listed below the gumline, which traps food and plaque. Correct dental treatment and enhanced home care can generally help prevent additional damage. It is also called stage 2 periodontal disease.
- Advanced Periodontitis: in this final stage of gum disease, the fibers and bone supporting your teeth are destroyed, which can cause your teeth to move or loosen. This can affect your bite and, if aggressive treatment cannot conserve them, teeth may need to be removed.
If you have been informed you have periodontal (gum) disease, you’re not alone. Lots of adults in the United States currently have some kind of the disease. Periodontal diseases vary from easy gum inflammation to serious disease that results in significant damage to the soft tissue and bone that support the teeth. In the worst cases, teeth are lost.
How do I Know if I Have Periodontal Disease?
Gum disease can happen at any age, however it is most typical among adults. If discovered in its early stages, gum disease can be reversed so see your dentist if you notice any of the following symptoms:
- Gums that are red, puffy or swollen, or tender
- Gums that bleed during brushing or flossing
- Teeth that look longer since your gums have actually declined
- Gums that have actually separated, or pulled away, from your teeth, creating a pocket
- Changes in the way your teeth meshed when you bite
- Pus coming from between your teeth and gums
- Constant bad breath or a bad taste in your mouth
How is Periodontal Disease Treated?
The early stages of periodontal disease can typically be reversed with correct brushing and flossing. Good oral health will assist keep plaque from developing.
An expert cleaning by your dental practitioner or hygienist is the only method to remove plaque that has built up and hardened into tartar. Your dental practitioner or hygienist will clean or “scale” your teeth to remove the tartar above and below the gumline. If your condition is more severe, a root planing procedure may be performed. Root planing helps to smooth irregularities on the roots of the teeth making it more difficult for plaque to deposit there.
By scheduling routine checkups, early stage periodontal disease can be treated before it causes a far more severe condition. If your condition is more advanced, treatment in the dental office will be needed.