Periodontal disease is primarily known as the advanced stage of gum disease, when the infection penetrates from gum tissue to periodontal structure - periodontal ligament and alveolar bone supporting teeth. When periodontal disease occurs, patients experience reduced attachment of gum to tooth body and diminished bone levels. In severe stage, teeth may fall out or be removed because of destructive supporting structure. Treating periodontal disease in the early stage can help prevent tooth loss.
What causes periodontal diseases?
Main cause of periodontal diseases is plaque, a sticky biofilm that forms on your teeth no matter how careful you clean your teeth everyday. This plaque, which only can be removed by dentist, contains billions of bacteria producing harmful toxins. The bacteria biofilm leads to gum irritation and inflammation.
Inflamed gums quickly pull away from the teeth and create periodontal pockets that is comfortable home to bacteria buildup. The disease can get worse when the bone and other tissues that support teeth are involved.
How do I know if I have periodontal disease?
Periodontal disease at early stage seems not easy to be detected without dentist checkup. That’s why periodic dental checkups should not be skipped. Following signs can warn you of the problem:
- Gums that bleed when you brush or floss
- Red, swollen, or tender gums
- Gums that have pulled away from your teeth
- Bad breath that doesn’t go away
- Pus between the teeth and gums
- Loose or separating teeth
- A change in the way your teeth fit together when you bite
- A change in the fit of partial dentures.
Healthy mouth, strong body
Many people misconceive that oral health has no association with your general health. In fact, there is two-way relation between your mouth and your full body. The mouth is full of bacteria causing tooth decay, periodontitis and other complaints: heart disease, arterial blockages and stroke. Many researches that have been carried out show that periodontal disease can lead to many disorders in human body, such as cardiovascular disease, stroke and bacterial pneumonia.
Although more studies are still required, but many researchers doubt that bacteria and inflammation linked to periodontitis cause some systemic diseases or conditions. Diseases such as diabetes, blood cell disorders, HIV infections and AIDS is likely to limit the body’s resistance to infection, making periodontal diseases more severe. There is evidence proving that people with diabetes are more likely to develop and have more severe periodontitis than those without diabetes.
In addition, pregnant women suffering from periodontitis may be at high risk of delivering premature and/or low-birth-weight infants.