Gingivitis and Periodontal Disease – Causes, Symptoms, and Prevention
Periodontitis is an infection of the gums. It is generally related to poor oral hygiene. The condition begins as a mild inflammation around the base of your gums; this stage of gum disease is called gingivitis. As it advances, it can destroy the soft tissues and the bone that holds your teeth in place. Although periodontal disease is extremely common, it is also preventable with good oral hygiene habits and regular dental care. For most people, prevention is as simple as brushing twice a day, flossing every day, and seeing their dentist regularly.
Common Symptoms of Gum Disease
The most common signs and symptoms of gingivitis or periodontitis include the following:
- Red or purple gums
- Swollen gums
- Bleeding gums
- Gum sensitivity or tenderness
- Receding gums
- New spaces between teeth
- Presence of pus between teeth and gums
- Bad breath or unpleasant taste in mouth
- Loose teeth
- Changes in bite
Causes of Gum Disease
Periodontitis begins when bacteria-laden plaque forms on the surface of teeth. Although brushing and flossing removes plaque, it re-forms within 24 hours. If it stays on your teeth for more than two or three days, it hardens into tartar, which requires professional removal. The bacterial toxins in plaque and tartar irritate and inflame gum tissues. Eventually, deep pockets form between your teeth and gums, and these fill with plaque, tartar and bacteria. As the infection advances under your gums, tissue and bone loss occurs. Although poor oral hygiene causes most cases, other risk factors include smoking, hormonal changes in women, diabetes, depressed immune function, medications that reduce the flow of saliva and genetic susceptibility.
Don’t Lose Your Teeth to Periodontitis
The long-term consequences of untreated periodontitis include early tooth loss and increased risk of serious medical problems like cardiovascular disease. To prevent them, practice consistent oral hygiene, visit your dentist regularly, and make an appointment immediately if your gums appear puffy and red or bleed when you brush your teeth.
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Dental One Associates offers affordable family dentistry and gentle, compassionate dental care in Atlanta. With 8 affiliated practices throughout Georgia, our offices are conveniently located with extended hours to meet your needs. At Dental One Associates of Georgia, we provide most dental services, from basic preventative care and general dentistry to specialized procedures and complete dental reconstruction. We accept most dental insurance plans and offer affordable financial solutions for any budget. Patient satisfaction is our top priority and we strive to provide the exceptional, affordable dental care and personal touch that lead to lasting relationships. A smiling patient is our greatest reward and we look forward to keeping those smiles healthy, beautiful, and bright. Discover an affordable dentist who truly cares at Dental One Associates of Georgia.