What Is Periodontal Disease?
Periodontal disease, also known as gum disease, is an inflammatory infection that affects the gum and bones supporting and surrounding your teeth. It usually appears in the form of gingivitis and periodontitis. Gingivitis is the inflammation of the gum near the tooth's neck, while periodontitis is a more advanced stage that affects bone and tissue.
Children can have some symptoms of inflammation in the gingival tissue, but the first symptoms of gingivitis in adults are swelling, redness in the gums, and bleeding while brushing. Gingivitis is further subdivided into acute and chronic cases:
In recent years, dental scientists have discovered that gingivitis is reversible by way of proper dental practices. Even though gingivitis is still prevalent today, daily flossing and brushing reduces the risk of inflammation, especially among young people.
Once gingivitis reaches an advanced stage, it develops into periodontitis. In this phase, it starts to undermine the bone and supporting tissue and forms pockets in the gum tissue. People with this condition may experience periods where the disease is highly active for a short period, followed by episodes of remission. This condition can eventually lead to loosening and loss of teeth.
The majority of adults are affected by gingivitis, but it doesn't turn into periodontitis in every single case. Whether and how gum disease progresses is affected by multiple factors, including personal dental hygiene and genetics. Even though the damage is irreversible in most cases, treatment can prevent the disease from progressing.
However, this disease often progresses secretly and painlessly, making it difficult to diagnose early. In the preliminary phases we can usually only detect it if your gums bleed when you brush. In later stages, the bleeding may stop, and we won't see any further signs until the tooth begins to loosen.
Risk Factors For Periodontal Disease
There are a few risk factors to consider that increase the chances of getting this disease:
Preventing Gum Disease
Most forms of gum disease are preventable via daily brushing and flossing. However, plaque can form more easily near poorly molded fillings, fillings with elongated edges, and other types of partial dentures. Irregularities like these hinder brushing and make it easier for bacteria to form. If plaque has hardened into tartar, then it is conducive to the formation of even more plaque, and we will need to employ scaling and root planing to remove it.
Most people, however, can ward off these diseases by abstaining from tobacco, eating healthily and brushing diligently.
If you have any other questions or concerns, please give us a call at (971) 317-8414.