Periodontal (gum) diseases, including gingivitis and periodontitis, are serious infections that, left untreated, can lead to tooth loss. The word periodontal literally means “around the tooth.” Periodontal disease is a chronic bacterial infection that affects the gums and bone supporting the teeth.
Periodontal disease can affect one tooth or many teeth. It begins when the bacteria in plaque(the sticky, film that constantly forms on your teeth) causes the gums to become red and inflamed. In the mildest form of the disease, gingivitis, the gums turn red, swell, and bleed easily. There is usually little or no discomfort,so the problem can proceed for a long time,without symptoms,until the teeth get loose,fall out,or become so painful to chew,they need to be pulled out. Gingivitis is often caused by inadequate oral hygiene. Gingivitis is reversible with professional treatment and meticulous oral home care.Brushing at lest 2x a day,more often if a person snacks a lot,and most importantly,before bedtime,and also as important to floss once a day,also,preferably prior to bed.Avoiding flossing misses 1/3 of the surface area of the posterior teeth.Plaque eventually hardens into tartar,which cannot be removed by brushing and flossing alone.At Kingston Creekside dental,we have a a thorough hygiene program.
Untreated gingivitis can advance to periodontitis Toxins produced by the bacteria in plaque irritate the gums. The toxins stimulate a chronic inflammatory response , and the tissues and bone that support the teeth are broken down and destroyed. Gums separate from the teeth, forming pockets (spaces between the teeth and gums). As the disease progresses, the pockets deepen and more gum tissue and bone are destroyed. Often, this destructive process has very mild symptoms. Eventually, teeth can become loose and may have to be removed.