Periodontal disease is an inflammatory disease that affects the soft and hard structures that support the teeth. In its early stage, called gingivitis, the gums become swollen and red due to inflammation, which is the body’s natural response to the presence of harmful bacteria. In the more serious form of periodontal disease called periodontitis, the gums pull away from the tooth and supporting gum tissues are destroyed. Bone can be lost, and the teeth may loosen or eventually fall out.
Chronic periodontitis, the most advanced form of the disease, progresses relatively slowly in most people and is typically more evident in adulthood. Although inflammation as a result of a bacterial infection is behind all forms of periodontal disease, a variety of factors can influence the severity of the disease. Important risk factors include inherited or genetic susceptibility, smoking, lack of adequate home care, age, diet, health history, and medications.
Bad breath that won't go away
Red or swollen gums
Tender or bleeding gums
Receding gums or longer appearing teeth
Research has shown a link between periodontal disease and diabetes, heart disease and stroke, respiratory diseases, and pregnancy problems. There may be other reasons people with gum disease sometimes develop additional health problems. For example, something else may be causing both the gum disease and the other condition, or it could be a coincidence that gum disease and other health problems are present together. More research is needed to clarify whether gum disease actually causes health problems beyond the mouth, and whether treating gum disease can keep other health conditions from developing. In the meantime, it’s a fact that controlling gum disease can save your teeth – a very good reason to take care of your teeth and gums.
Brush your teeth twice a day, in the morning and before bedtime, with fluoride toothpaste. Make sure to brush all sides of your teeth, as well as, your tongue.
Floss or use another between-the-tooth cleaner daily to remove plaque and bits of food from areas your toothbrush can't reach.
Eat a balanced diet for good general health and limit sugary snacks. Avoid tobacco, smokers are more likely to develop periodontal disease & tooth loss.
Visit your dentist regularly. Professional cleanings are the only way to remove tartar, which traps bacteria along the gum line.