Periodontal disease is a bacterial infection of the gums and bone caused by dental plaque, which is the soft, sticky substance that forms on the teeth. It is estimated to affect 4 out of every 5 people. If the plaque is allowed to remain and grow on the teeth, an inflammation of the gums called Gingivitis occurs. As the disease progresses, the pockets of bacteria deepen, destroying the bone which holds the teeth in the mouth. This results in teeth loss. Periodontal disease progresses silently, often without pain or overt symptoms that would alert you to its presence. It may develop slowly or progress very rapidly. With this in mind, please be aware of the following signs and symptoms:
- Gums that bleed when you brush your teeth.
- Gums that are red, swollen, or tender.
- Gums that have pulled away from you teeth.
- Permanent teeth that are loose or separating.
- Changes in the way your teeth fit together when biting.
- Any changes in the fit of partial dentures.
- Pus between your teeth and gums.
- Chronic bad breath or bad taste.
- Abnormal spaces (periodontal pockets) developing between the teeth and gums.
- Loss of the jawbone that normally surrounds and supports the teeth.