What is Periodontitis (Periodontal Disease)?

Periodontal Disease is also known as: Periodontitis, Gum Disease, Pyorrhea

This disease is the infection of the gum tissue around a tooth, resulting in tissue detachment, bone loss and eventually tooth loss.

It begins as gingivitis, but as the body’s immune system attempts to fight off the bacteria under the gums, the infection can become so severe that the gum tissue and ligaments detaches from the teeth, leaving a huge pocket underneath the gums. When this happens, supporting bone structure around a tooth is also destroyed. The end result can be mobility and tooth loss.

Causes, Incidence, and Risk Factors:

Periodontal disease occurs when the infection of the gums (gingivitis) is left untreated, or treatment is inadequate. The infection and inflammation spread from the ligaments around the tooth, to the connected gum tissue and the bone that supports the tooth. Loss of support causes the teeth to become mobile and eventually fall out. Gingivitis is present in more than an estimated 90% of adults, and Periodontal Disease is the primary cause of tooth loss. Periodontal disease is uncommon in childhood but increases during late adolescence.

As plaque biofilm accumulates at the gum lines, these bacteria make a home just under the surface of the gum tissue. In just 24 hours the biofilm calcifies into tartar, or "calculus.” Once there are tartar deposits it can only be removed by a dental professional. Accumulate tartar buildup contributes to the severity of Periodontal Disease as it houses live bacteria. As the body attempts to fight these infections, the ligaments between the tooth and gum are destroyed, millimeter by millimeter. If it is not stopped, it keeps going until the tooth just simply falls out.

What Are The Symptoms?

  • Swollen gums
  • Gums that appear bright red or purple
  • Gums that bleed easily when brushing
  • Gums that are tender or painful to the touch
  • Bad taste or foul odor in the mouth
  • Loose teeth
  • Spaces between the teeth that weren’t there before

Note: Early symptoms are the same as gingivitis, as gingivitis is just the beginning of Gum Disease.