Gingivitis and Periodontitis.

Periodontal disease (gum disease) is an infection of the gums and bone that support your teeth. Contributing factors are, plaque (containing bacteria film or biofilm), tartar, and certain health conditions (diabetes or stroke) that cause inflammation to the gums and bone. There are 2 main stages of periodontal disease: gingivitis and periodontitis.

Gingivitis is the initial stage of periodontal disease which affects the gums. The gums can be red, swollen and may bleed easily. This condition is reversible if properly treated, but left untreated gingivitis can lead to a more destructive condition called periodontitis.

Periodontitis is when the inflammation caused by bacteria penetrates into the deeper pocket surrounding the tooth, affecting tissue and bone. As this disease progresses, pockets form around the tooth allowing more plaque and calculus (tartar) to collect below the gum line. It is possible to have periodontal disease and not know it- symptoms are often painless. Also if left untreated, teeth become loose and even may need to be removed. Periodontal disease is a major cause of tooth loss in adults. However, treatment can help.

Warning signs include:

  • Gums bleed when brushing or eating.
  • Gums feel swollen and tender.
  • Bad mouth odors or taste.
  • Mouth sores.
  • Gums recede (pulling back from your tooth).
  • Pus between gum and tooth.
  • Change in the way your teeth fit together.