What is Gum Disease?
Periodontal disease, or gum disease as it is more commonly known, is a chronic bacterial infection causing damage to the gums and supporting bone. This eventually leads to tooth loss if not treated. Other more serious health problems are associated with periodontal infection such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, stroke, respiratory infection, and preterm low birthweight babies.
What are the signs of gum disease?
Indications of periodontal disease include the following: Swollen, painful or bleeding gums, bad breath, loose or sensitive teeth. Unfortunately, periodontal disease is not always obvious. Bacterial infection is usually silent and progressive, destroying the soft tissues and bone that support the teeth often times without any noticeable pain.
There are many factors that contribute to periodontal disease, such as oral hygiene habits (grinding or clenching), poorly fitting dentures or bridges, stress, general health, medications, systemic diseases, genetics, poor diet, and tobacco use, which can also influence the treatment effectiveness and disease recurrence.
GUM DISEASE AND THE BODY
Stages of Periodontal Disease
Gingivitis is a mild form of the disease, caused by bacteria irritating the gums. Plaque, a sticky film that forms on the teeth and gums, hard and sent to calculus which forms a rough surface along the gumline on which more plaque accumulates. This can cause more irritation and swelling. Although this usually results in sore, bleeding gums, bad breath and spaces between the gums and teeth (pockets) there is no damage to the bone at this point.
Periodontitis occurs when plaque and possibly calculus are found below the gumline. The gums are irritated and bright red. They bleed easily and shrink back or received. The ligaments that attach the tooth roots to the bone breakdown in the gum detaches and pulls away from the tooth. The pockets deep in and fill with more bacteria. This damage to the ligaments and bone results in loose teeth and is typically irreversible.
Advanced periodontitis is the most severe stage of the disease process. One periodontitis progresses to the advanced stage, pockets deep in and may fill with pus. There is typically swelling around tooth roots and sensitivity to hot or cold. As bone loss increases, tooth loss generally occurs. Sometimes the teeth need to be removed to preserve the overall health of your mouth at this point.
PROGRESSION OF PERIDONTAL DISEASE