Gingivitis that is left untreated can eventually morph into periodontal disease, or periodontitis, which is the swelling and infection of the supportive structures of the teeth. The breakdown of these structures leads to the loosening and eventual loss of teeth. Knowing how the disease develops and progresses and what warning signs to look for is imperative. After all, we all want healthy teeth and gums for life! Let’s learn a little bit about the disease and what symptoms may appear.
Periodontal disease develops when build up such as tartar and plaque accumulate near the gum line. Swelling occurs, which leads to a collection of this build up forming between the gums and teeth. Since the gums are swollen, the tartar and plaque become lodged. The supportive structures of the teeth, such as tissues and bones, begin to deteriorate. The likelihood of developing an infection is heightened because of the bacteria found in plaque. In some cases, a tooth abscess may even begin to form, speeding up the rate of deterioration.
Some symptoms to watch out for are halitosis (persistent bad breath), gums that are red or reddish purple, gums that seem to bleed easily (particularly with gentle brushing), tenderness of the gums when touched (but painless otherwise), and teeth that appear to be loosening. It is helpful to know that early signs bear a resemblance to gingivitis.
Treatment of periodontal disease aims to get rid of the swelling, eradicate any collections of tartar and plaque, and determine the ultimate cause of the problem. However, forms of treatment vary depending on the severity of the disease. It’s critical to remember that periodontal disease is a bacterial infection. The urgency of treating it is just as important as any other condition.
This is why it’s vital to remain vigilant regarding the health of your mouth. Keep an eye out for any and all warning signs and bring them to the attention of your dentist as soon as possible. The sooner any problems are addressed, the quicker a treatment plan can be implemented. You can learn more on our website. A happy smile is a healthy smile, so why not ensure its longevity with proper oral hygiene?