Periodontal disease affects the area around the tooth, gums, and bone. When leftover food and bacteria are left behind, it forms a sticky substance called plaque. Plaque turns into tartar, and tartar starts to infect the gums and bone that support your teeth. Periodontal disease forms and causes your gums to become red, swollen, and bleed. If you experience soreness or bleeding gums, contact your Raleigh dentist immediately.

Periodontal disease is common and doesn’t always show symptoms right away. Four out of five people with periodontal disease don’t even know it.

Research has shown that periodontal disease is the number one cause of tooth loss, and is also linked to stroke, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, pneumonia, and other diseases. Your risk of getting periodontal disease increases with smoking. Practicing good oral hygiene, eating a healthy, well-balanced diet, and getting regular dental check-ups can help prevent periodontal disease from developing.

What is Periodontal Disease?

“Periodontal” means “around the tooth” so periodontal disease affects the area around your tooth. Periodontal disease is also known as gum disease. It’s a common disease in which inflammation and affects the gums, bone, and tissue around a tooth.

Gingivitis can be a common indicator of an early stage of periodontal disease. Gingivitis is a bacterial infection in the gum tissue, usually caused by plaque irritating and inflaming the gums. The more severe the bacteria infection gets, the harder it becomes to remove and treat the infection. Bacteria start to colonize the gum pockets in between your teeth, and periodontal disease starts to progress, destroying the tissue and jawbone. Loose teeth, tooth loss, and shifting or moving teeth can all come from untreated periodontal disease.

Periodontal disease is the main cause of tooth loss in adults. If you think you might be experiencing any symptoms of periodontal disease, schedule an appointment with our Raleigh dentist to get treatment as soon as possible.

Types of Periodontal Disease

Gingivitis that goes untreated can start spreading to the gums, and even below the gum line. When the toxins in plaque start irritating the gums, an inflammatory response causes your body to start breaking down and destroying its own bone and soft tissue. In the early stages of gum disease, your teeth separate from the infected gum tissue, and you may experience no symptoms, or only mild symptoms during this process. If the pockets between the teeth and gums deepen, this is usually a sign that you have periodontal disease.

Some of the most common types of periodontal disease are:

Chronic periodontitis

The tissue supporting your teeth is inflamed and gums start to recede. Your teeth might look like they are getting longer, but in reality, your gums are receding. Chronic periodontitis is the most common form of gum disease. Progression starts with loss of attachments and may also go through periods of quick progression.

Aggressive periodontitis

Aggressive periodontitis progresses quickly with the loss of gum attachment, chronic bone destruction, and familial aggregation. Healthy individuals are commonly affected by this type of periodontal disease.

Necrotizing periodontitis

This type of gum disease most commonly affects individuals with systemic conditions such as HIV, immunosuppression, and malnutrition. Necrosis, or death of the tissue, occurs in the periodontal ligament, alveolar bone, and gingival tissues.

Periodontitis Caused by Systemic Disease

This form of gum disease is common in patients at an early age. Respiratory disease, heart conditions, and diabetes can all contribute to this form of periodontal disease.

Signs and Symptoms of Periodontal Disease

  • Gum bleeding – bleeding gums are never normal.
  • Loose teeth – bone loss or weakened fibers can cause teeth to become loose and even fall out.
  • Increasing gaps between teeth – bone loss can cause new spaces between your teeth.
  • Bad breath – bacteria in the mouth can cause constant bad breath.
  • Pus in your mouth – pus forming around your teeth or gums can signal an infection in your mouth.
  • Gum recession – gums receding around a tooth can be a red flag for infection.
  • Gum swelling – red or swollen gums are never normal.
  • Soreness or tenderness – sore or tender gums can mean that plaque, tartar, and bacteria are irritating your gums.