Periodontitis, also referred to as gum disease, is a serious infection in the gums. Periodontitis can cause severe damage to the soft tissue, and if it is left untreated, it can destroy the bone that is supporting your teeth. As a result, it can cause teeth to become loose or total tooth loss.
While periodontal disease is common, it is also a preventable disease that is usually the result of maintaining poor oral hygiene. One of the easiest ways to prevent periodontal disease is to brush your teeth twice a day, floss once a day, and visit your dentist for regular check-ups. Not only will following a good oral care regime help to reduce your risk, but it will also improve your chances of catching it early to treat it successfully.
Symptoms of Periodontal Disease
Here are some signs to be aware of that may be the symptoms of a developing periodontal disease:
- Swollen gums
- Bright red or purple gums
- Bleeding gums
- Gums are tender when touched
- Spitting out blood after brushing
- Persistent bad breath
- Gaps forming in-between teeth
- Loose teeth
- Painful when chewing food
- Receding gums
- Change in your ‘bite’
Causes of Periodontal Disease
In most cases, periodontal disease is caused by a lack of good oral hygiene. If it goes untreated, plaque will then form onto the teeth and harden and turn into tartar. A build-up of plaque can cause a mild type of gum disease called gingivitis. Gingivitis is when your gums become irritated and inflamed around the base of your teeth.
If the inflammation continues without treatment, it can lead to periodontitis. Periodontitis will eventually lead to pockets developing between the gums and teeth. These pockets fill with plaque, bacteria, and tartar. Over time, the pockets will become even deeper and can cause deep infections.
When to See a Dentist
If you notice any of the symptoms of periodontal disease, it is important to schedule an appointment as soon as possible. If you manage to get it treated early, you have better chances of reversing all the damage.