What is periodontal (gum) disease?
Periodontal (gum) diseases range from simple gum inflammation to serious disease that results in major damage to the soft tissue and bone that support the teeth. In the worst cases, teeth become loose and fall out, or need to be extracted.
The longer plaque and tartar are on teeth, the more harmful they become. The bacteria cause inflammation of the gums that is called gingivitis. Gingivitis is the mildest form of periodontal disease. In gingivitis, the gums become red, swollen and can bleed easily. Gingivitis can usually be reversed with daily brushing and flossing, and regular cleaning by a dental hygienist. This form of periodontal disease does not include any loss of bone or tissue that holds teeth in place.
When gingivitis is not treated, it can advance to periodontitis. In periodontitis, gums pull away from the teeth and form pockets in the gums around your teeth that become infected. If not treated, the bones, gums, and tissue that support the teeth are destroyed. The teeth may eventually become loose and have to be removed.
Symptoms of gum disease include:
- Bad breath that won’t go away
- Red or swollen gums
- Tender or bleeding gums
- Painful chewing
- Loose teeth
- Sensitive teeth
- Receding gums or longer appearing teeth
Any of these symptoms may be a sign of a serious problem. Call our office to schedule an appointment if you are experiencing any of these symptoms.