Periodontal (gum and bone) diseases, including gingivitis and periodontitis, are serious infections which can lead to tooth loss if left untreated. Periodontal disease can affect one or more teeth and the supporting structures of the teeth as well. This includes the gum tissue, bone support, and ligaments which hold the teeth in place. Periodontal disease is most often the result of inadequate personal care for the mouth. When oral hygiene is neglected it allows growth of harmful bacteria and inflammation of the tooth’s supporting structures. To diagnose periodontal disease, and its cause, your periodontist will examine your gums, check for recession, evaluate how your teeth come together in biting positions, and check for any loose teeth. A small measuring instrument is placed between the teeth and gums to determine the depth of space between them. It may also be necessary to take X-rays.
There are many different strains of bacteria in the mouth. When any of these bacteria get out of balance it causes damage. Periodontal disease begins when the bacteria in plaque causes the gums to become inflamed. Genetics, systemic disease, and sometimes infrequent dental care are influential in the cause of the disease. Though nearly three-fourths of the world’s population has some form of periodontal disease, a genetic predisposition is the single biggest determinant as to how serious each case gets. A variety of factors can affect it, such as poor oral hygiene, smoking, diabetes, and other systemic conditions.
Early periodontitis can have no symptoms but over time, bad breath, increasing space between the teeth, tooth mobility or deep aching pain around the teeth may be experienced. In advanced cases of periodontitis, an abscess may form within the roots and gums or bone support.
By cleaning your teeth properly and seeing a dentist for regular preventive cleaning of the teeth. Smoking also increases the risk for periodontal disease.
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