Periodontal disease, also known as gum disease, is a serious bacterial infection of the tissues surrounding and supporting the teeth. This includes gums, bone and the periodontal fibers that support your teeth and hold them in the jaw.
These bacterial infections can destroy your gums as well as the supporting bone that holds your teeth in your mouth which results in loosening of teeth which may fall out, or need to be removed and replaced with dental bridges or implants.
Additionally, you may require periodontal surgery to cover and protect exposed tooth root surfaces, correct gum and jawbone indentations or reshape and repair the gum tissue. You may also require dental implants to replace destroyed tooth roots.
Additionally, periodontal disease has been linked to a number of health problems that extend far beyond your mouth including diabetes and heart disease.
Periodontal disease is entirely preventable and repairable through good dental habits. You may have gum disease and not even know it. Often, there is no pain and periodontal diseases may not exhibit symptoms until serious bone loss has taken place. It is critical to see Dr. Viral if you are experiencing any of these symptoms.
The primary cause of periodontal diseases is bacterial plaque, which is sticky, colorless coating that forms on your teeth. If it is not cleaned properly – through good habits including regular dental cleanings – that bacterial plaque can infect the gums, release toxins that redden and inflame the tissue, and gradually destroy the tissues supporting the teeth and underlying bone. When this happens, the gums separate from the teeth that fill with even more plaque and cause additional infection.
Periodontal diseases and conditions include:
The most common form of periodontitis is chronic periodontitis, which results in inflammation within the supporting tissues of the teeth, progressive attachment and bone loss. It is diagnosed by bone loss (through dental X-rays), pocket formation and/or gum recession. It typically affects adults who are 35 or older, but it can occur at any age.
Aggressive periodontitis is characterized by rapid bone destruction. Localized aggressive periodontitis most often occurs near puberty and usually involves around first molars and/or front teeth. Generalized aggressive periodontitis usually affects people under 30 years old and involves three or more permanent teeth as well as first molars and incisors.
Periodontitis occurring due to systemic diseases often begins at a young age. It is associated with systemic conditions such as heart disease, respiratory problems and diabetes.
Necrotizing periodontal disease is an infection characterized by the death of cells in the gingival tissues, periodontal ligament and alveolar bone (part of the upper or lower jaw that contains roots of teeth). It occurs most commonly in patients with systemic conditions such as Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) infection, malnutrition and immunosuppression. These types of periodontal diseases cause ulcers in the gums between the teeth. Stress, smoking and poor oral hygiene sometimes can contribute to this problem.