The word periodontal means “around the tooth”. Periodontal disease
attacks the gums and the bone that support the teeth. Plaque is a sticky film
of food debris, bacteria, and saliva. If plaque is not removed, it turns into
calculus (tartar). When plaque and calculus are not removed, they begin to
destroy the gums and bone. Periodontal disease is characterized by red,
swollen, and bleeding gums.
Four out of five people have periodontal disease and don’t know it! Most
people are not aware of it because the disease is usually painless in the
Not only is it the number one reason for tooth loss, research suggests
that there may be a link between periodontal disease and other diseases such
as, stroke, bacterial pneumonia, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and
increased risk during pregnancy. Researchers are determining if inflammation
and bacteria associated with periodontal disease affects these systemic
diseases and conditions. Smoking also increases the risk of periodontal
Good oral hygiene, a balanced diet, and regular dental visits can help reduce
your risk of developing periodontal disease.
Signs and symptoms of periodontal disease:
Bleeding gums – Gums should never bleed, even when you brush
vigorously or use dental floss.
Loose teeth – Also caused by bone loss or weakened periodontal fibers
(fibers that support the tooth to the bone).
- New spacing between teeth – Caused by bone loss.
- Persistent bad breath – Caused by bacteria in the mouth.
Pus around the teeth and gums – Sign that there is an infection
- Receding gums – Loss of gum around a tooth.
- Red and puffy gums – Gums should never be red or swollen.
Tenderness or Discomfort – Plaque, calculus, and bacteria irritate
the gums and teeth.