Causes of Periodontis
If not treated promptly, gum disease can worsen and begin to affect your gums, jaw bone, and teeth. In the worst cases, you can lose teeth, so prevention is the best way to protect your teeth. Stay alert to symptoms that may be telling you that you need to see your dentist.
Plaque is a substance that forms when starches and sugars in food interact with bacteria in your mouth. Plaque, the tough stuff your dental hygienist scrapes off during cleaning visits, can harden under your gumline into tartar if it stays on your teeth. Tartar is more difficult to remove and it’s filled with bacteria. The longer plaque and tartar remain on your teeth, the more damage they can do. Brushing and flossing helps prevent buildup, but once it has formed, it needs a professional to remove it. That is why twice-yearly cleanings are so important.
The early stage of periodontal disease is called gingivitis. It is inflammation of part of the gum around the base of your teeth. Gingivitis can be reversed with professional treatment and good home oral care.
When your gums are inflamed, they can cause pockets to develop between your gums and teeth that can fill with plaque, tartar and bacteria. These pockets become deeper over time, filling up with more bacteria. If left untreated, these infections can cause loss of tissue and bone. Ultimately, you may lose one or more teeth.
Be sure to practice good oral health and be on the lookout for any of these symptoms. See your dentist right away if you experience any of them.
- Swollen or puffy gums
- Bright red, dusky red or purplish gums
- Gums that feel tender when touched
- Gums that bleed easily
- Gums that pull away from your teech
- new spaces developing between your teeth
- Pus between your teeth and gums
- Bad breath
- Loose teeth
- Painful chewing
- A change in the way your teeth fit together when you bite.