After cavities, gingivitis and periodontitis are the most common periodontal diseases in adults. These insidious afflictions are often painless at their onset, which is why it’s so important to have regular check-ups and cleanings.
What is periodontal disease?
The mouth is a complex collection of structures. The periodontium, which includes the gums, alveolar bone, cementum and periodontal ligament, serves as a solid foundation for our teeth.
Periodontal disease occurs when a bacterial infection reaches the gums. It is caused by an accumulation of hardened dental plaque called tartar.
- Poor oral hygiene
- Some chronic illnesses, like diabetes
- Some medications
Stages of periodontal disease
The first stage of a gingival infection is gingivitis. It is reversible and won’t cause permanent damage to supporting structures. Some of the symptoms include red, swollen gums and bleeding during brushing or flossing.
When left untreated, gingivitis can reach osseous tissue and turn into periodontitis. At this stage, infected pockets are present between the gums and teeth. Periodontitis can also lead to pain during chewing, persistent bad breath and loosened teeth.
To curtail the progression of the disease and restore damaged structures, periodontitis needs to be treated.
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