Periodontal disease is the umbrella term for all diseases that affect dental tissues, the two main categories being gingivitis and periodontitis. These diseases inflame the gums and bones around the base of teeth.
The main culprit behind periodontal disease is plaque, the sticky film that mixes together saliva, bacteria, and food particles. Overtime, plaque will harden (if not removed) and become tartar. When tartar remains undisturbed and is never removed, it will begin to destroy a patient’s gums and dental bones. It will also cause gums to slowly pull away from the teeth, making bigger gaps in the process and giving bacteria more room for damage.
The main symptom of periodontal disease is red, swollen gums that are prone to bleeding. 80% of patients have periodontal disease and do not realize it, mainly because the early stages do not normally involve any type of detectable pain.
Montgomery Dentistry recognizes periodontal disease as the most common reason for tooth loss among our patients. However, this disease and its ramifications can be easily prevented if patients would not only brush and floss regularly, but have their teeth professionally cleaned every six months.
Common symptoms of periodontal disease include:
- Swollen, puffy gums
- Bleeding gums
- Regular bad breath (halitosis)
- Tooth pain
- Loose teeth
- Receding gum lines