Periodontal Disease (Periodontics)

Periodontitis is advanced gum disease. While gingivitis (the earlier stage of gum disease), affects only the gums, periodontitis is inflammation and infection that has spread to surrounding tissue, including tooth and bone and systemically then travels throughout your body.

What is periodontitis?

Gum disease is categorized by severity. Gingivitis is milder, treatable and reversible early-stage gum disease that affects only the gums. Periodontitis is advanced gum disease, where the inflammation and infection have spread to surrounding tissues.

What causes periodontitis?

Periodontitis is caused by plaque, which unremoved, causes a gum infection which spreads to surrounding tissue. Plaque is a sticky film of bacteria that forms daily on our teeth. It reacts with the food we eat to produce acids and toxins that cause tooth decay. Newly formed plaque can be removed by brushing and flossing, but plaque that is not removed hardens into tartar or calculus. This hard layer of tartar forms at and below the gumline and cannot be removed by brushing. Tartar and plaque combine to accelerate tooth decay and irritate gums. The resulting inflammation and infection of the gums is called gingivitis. Untreated gingivitis creates pockets of plaque, tartar and bacteria between your teeth and gums. This spreads infection below the gums, eventually causing bone and tissue loss. This condition, known as periodontitis, is the biggest cause of adult tooth loss.

What are the symptoms of periodontitis?

Periodontitis will appear as:

  • Red, or reddish-purple swollen, tender gums
  • Gums that bleed very easily, even with gentle brushing (blood on toothbrush even with gentle brushing of the teeth)
  • Gums that hurt only when touched
  • Gums that have a “shiny look”
  • Gums that have receded from your teeth
  • Continuous bad taste in mouth or bad breath
  • Mouth sores
  • New spaces between teeth
  • Pus between teeth and gums
  • Teeth that are loose or a bite that changes

How can I prevent periodontitis?

Periodontitis is advanced gum disease, which results from untreated gingivitis. If you have symptoms of gingivitis, contact our office for a thorough examination and treatment. You can reduce the risk of gingivitis greatly by:

  • Brushing and flossing regularly
  • Quitting tobacco use
  • Making regular dental visits for examination and cleaning

What is PerioProtect?

Perio Protect is a revolutionary new method to treat most periodontal disease (also known as gum disease, gingivitis or periodontitis) using an FDA-cleared medical device to deliver dentist-prescribed medications directly to the source of the infection.

What can you do about periodontitis?

As with a case of gingivitis, you will receive a thorough cleaning above and below the gums. This will usually include a process called scaling, where the dental professional uses instruments to scrape the tartar off teeth below the gumline. Scaling is followed by a smoothing procedure called planing to make sure there are no rough surfaces to continue irritating the teeth. She can further describe the procedures and the techniques available for making patients comfortable during the appointments. Perio Protect just might be the answer for more advanced gum diseases.

What is Gum Disease (gingivits)?

Gingivitis is early stage gum disease which affects only the gums and not the surrounding bone and tissue. Symptoms include gum inflammation and infection. It is a serious problem which afflicts perhaps up to 90% of adults, but it is treatable and reversible. If left untreated, it can develop into periodontitis. For more information on gingivitis, click here.

Why is it important to treat periodontitis?

Periodontitis is the major cause of adult tooth loss. Not only are your gums, teeth and the bones of your jaw at risk, but the infection and bacteria from periodontitis can lead to heart disease and stroke, and pregnancy complications. Inhaling bacteria from your mouth can also cause Pneumonia. If you have any symptoms of gingivitis and periodontitis, contact us for a thorough examination and treatment.