Periodontal disease, commonly referred to as gum disease, is the single most common cause of tooth loss in adults. Gum disease, including gingivitis and periodontitis, are serious infections that if not treated, can lead the tooth loss. The inflammatory disease is a chronic bacterial infection that affects the gums, bones and other supporting structures of the teeth.
Stages and Progression
It is often caused by inadequate oral hygiene. Early stage gum disease is reversible with professional treatment and good oral home care. Untreated, early-stage gum disease can advance to more serious periodontitis. Gum disease is caused by plaque, a colorless film of bacteria that forms on the teeth. Toxins produced by the bacteria in plaque irritate the gums and cause them to become red, tender and swollen. If not removed daily, plaque hardens to form calculus (tartar) around the back of the teeth. With time, plaque can spread and grow beneath the gum line. The toxins stimulate a chronic inflammatory response that leads to bone loss.
Symptoms of Gingivitis
- Swollen gums
- Red or purple gums, rather than pink
- Gums bleed easily, especially during flossing or brushing
- Surrounding teeth that are mobile
- Surrounding teeth covered with tartar/calculus/plaque
Contributing Factors to Gum Disease
- Diabetes that is not controlled
- Clenching and grinding teeth
- Medication that causes dry mouth
- Taking medication for high blood
- Bad position of teeth (twisted tooth)
- Inappropriate dental prosthesis
- Low pH (acidic mouth)
- Poor nutrition
- Radiation treatment causing dry mouth
- Bacterial infections
- Viral infections
- Systemic (body wide) diseases
- Dry mouth (Sjrogen Syndrome)
- Salivary glands obstruction
Good periodontal health starts with quality brushing and flossing:
- Thoroughly brush and floss your teeth every day.
- Eat well-balanced diet, avoiding sticky sweets and junk food.
- Examine your mouth routinely for any signs of gum disease or other oral changes.
- Visit us at least twice a year for cleaning and oral examination.