Periodontal disease (gum disease) approaches silently. It may progress painlessly, producing few obvious signs.
Periodontal disease begins with bacteria, often present as bacterial plaque or calculus, which can be found in everyone’s mouth. As bacteria make themselves at home on your gums and teeth, these unwelcome visitors can cause your gums to become inflamed and eventually the tissues that surround and support your teeth, including the gums and bone are destroyed.
Your symptoms may include the following: Gums that bleed when you brush or floss your teeth; red, swollen or tender gums; persistent bad breath or a “bad taste” in your mouth; receding gums (“long in the tooth”); formation of deep pockets between teeth and gums; loose or shifting teeth; changes in the way that your teeth fit together when you bite
These symptoms may point to some form of periodontal disease, which is usually classified as gingivitis or periodontitis, depending on its severity. Gingivitis is considered as the early stage of the disease and is associated with red, inflamed, swollen or bleeding gums. At this point, vigilant brushing and flossing, regular professional cleaning and the use of medicated mouthwashes can help put you back on the track of having healthy gums.
Untreated or neglected gingivitis may lead to the advance stage – periodontitis – which is also associated with gum-inflammation, but even more seriously, may permanently damage the tissues and bone surrounding and supporting the teeth. Unfortunately, this destruction is almost irreversible and good dental hygiene alone cannot stop it. Periodontitis must be treated to slow down the progression of the disease and help prevent tooth loss.