Periodontal disease is a bacterial infection of the gums that also affects your teeth and sometimes the bones around your teeth.
Periodontal disease or periodontitis is the more advanced stage of this bacterial infection.
Gum irritation and the beginning of periodontal disease is called gingivitis.
All cases of periodontal disease are different. The following is a list of the most common symptoms associated with this periodontal disease, but it’s important to remember that if you have any abnormal symptoms in your mouth or with your teeth, you should always schedule an appointment with Dr. Kassel right away.
- Swollen gums
Gums will tend to swell with periodontal disease. They may also look red or purple in color. By contrast, if your gums are healthy, they will be a pink in color, and they will feel firm.
Tenderness or light to severe pain in your gums may be present. You may notice it, especially when you are brushing your teeth or eating.
- Loose teeth
With gum disease, the gums will pull back and away from your teeth. This will cause your teeth to feel loose, which is bad for their integrity, but moreover, bacteria can build up in the pockets that are formed when the gums pull away.
- Spaces between teeth
Noticing spaces in between your teeth? This is another common sign of periodontal or gum disease. The gums are receding, and this may change the way your teeth are spaced and come together.
Bleeding may be caused by periodontal disease as well. You will often notice this when you brush or floss your teeth.
- Bad breath
Finally, bad breath and a persistent bad taste in your mouth will likely be present if you have this disease.
The main cause of periodontal disease is a build-up of bacteria near the teeth and gums. Right along the gum line, where your gums meet your teeth, is where most bacteria build up. Over time, this can cause gingivitis and then full-blown gum disease. However, it’s important to remember that many symptoms will not show up until the disease is in its advanced stages.
This means that identifying risk factors is especially important. The following are all common risk factors associated with this disease:
- Diabetes: Often, those who have diabetes will also struggle with bacteria build-up and periodontal disease.
- Smoking: Unfortunately, smokers are two times as likely to develop periodontal disease as those who do not smoke.
- Pregnancy: Finally, because of changing hormones, women who are pregnant often struggle with gingivitis, which may later turn into periodontal disease. It is common with between 60 and 70 percent of pregnant women.
The best way to protect your teeth and gums from gingivitis or more serious periodontal disease is to brush and floss your teeth at least twice a day. If you notice any of the signs and symptoms associated with periodontal disease, make an appointment with Dr. Kassel Family Dentistry in Flint as soon as possible.