Gum disease is an infection of the tissues that surround and support your teeth. Like gingivitis (gum inflammation), gum disease is usually painless and you may not realise you have it.
Causes of Periodontal Disease
The terms “gum disease” and “periodontal disease” are used interchangeably to describe the oral problem that is caused by plaque, the sticky film of bacteria that is constantly forming on our teeth. There are many factors that increase the risk of developing gum disease including smoking, pregnancy, and diabetes. However the main cause of gum disease is a failure to regularly brush and floss the teeth.
Symptoms of Gum Disease
Before you experience pain associated with periodontal disease, you may experience these warning symptoms:
- Gums that bleed easily when brushed or when eating.
- Red, swollen, tender gums.
- Gums that have pulled away from the teeth.
- Chronic bad breath.
- Chronic “bad taste” in the mouth.
- Permanent teeth that become loose.
- Changes in your bite.
- Changes in the fit of partial dentures.
Advanced Gum Disease
When gum disease is left untreated, it can lead to chronic periodontitis, the loss of tissue and bone that support the teeth. It usually gets worse slowly, but there can be periods of rapid deterioration leaving the teeth feeling loose and mobile. Aggressive periodontitis is a highly destructive form of periodontal disease that occurs in patients who are otherwise healthy. Common features include rapid loss of tissue and bone which may occur in particular areas of the mouth, or the entire mouth.
Regular dental check-ups and periodontal examinations are very important to prevent gum disease. The treatment methods that Dr Levi suggests will depend upon the type of disease and how far the condition has progressed. Good dental care at home is essential to help keep periodontal disease from becoming more serious or recurring.
If you would like to know more about our treatments for periodontal disease, contact us today.