The periodontium is the supporting tissue of the tooth. It includes the alevolar bone, gums, periodontal fibers and the cement which covers the root. Periodontal disease can come on its own without prior symptoms or it can appear after neglected and untreated gum disease which progresses into the periodontal disease. The periodontal resistance depends on genetics, age, hormonal balance/disbalance, diet, medications, disfunctions in collagen production etc.
Periodontal disease is the inflammatory response to local irritations which include: accumulations on the tooth’s surface (debris, calculus/tartar, plaque), tooth decay, teeth loss, bad habits (bruxism, smoking) etc.
Plaque plays an important role in gum inflammation which later leads to periodontal disease if left untreated. Plaque is the sticky mass of bacteria and their toxins, food debris and saliva. When plaque is mineralized, it becomes calculus/tartar which can only be removed with special dental instruments.
Bacteria and their toxic products irritate the gum tissue, cause the inflammation and destruction of the periodontium. This will lead to bone loss, weakening of the periodontal fibers and eventually, tooth loss. Many people are not even aware they have the disease, because there are little or no symptoms present, especially at the early stages.
Periodontal disease is also linked to other medical conditions such as cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, bacterial pneumonia, stroke, increased risk during pregnancy etc. It is important to have good oral hygiene, healthy balanced diet and regular dental exams to prevent periodontal disease and, if you already have it, to stop it and treat in the proper way.
Some signs and symptoms of the periodontal disease:
- Bleeding gums – gums should never bleed, not even after you brush vigorously or floss
- Red and puffy gums – healthy gums are pink in color and never swollen
- Pus around the teeth and gums – always a sign of infection
- Bad breath – bacteria in the mouth and pockets (spaces between the gums and teeth)
- Receding gums – loss of the gum tissue around the tooth
- Loose teeth – bone loss and weakening of the periodontal fibers
- Tenderness and discomfort – caused by bacteria from the plaque which irritate the gums.
If you have any of these symptoms, schedule your appointment with your Elgin dentists now! It is important to start the treatment and increase oral hygiene habits.