Gingivitis & Periodontitis
Gum disease, is the process that
begins when bacterial growth in your mouth begins to lead to the corrosion of
your teeth and gums. If left untreated, long-term effects include extensive gum
deterioration, along with early tooth loss.
There are two stages in gum
disease of which include: gingivitis (gum inflammation) followed by
periodontitis (gum disease). Within the stages of gingivitis, the bacteria
in hardened plaque pockets build up causing the gums to become irritated and
swell. When brushing your gums may appear red or may bleed easily. Despite gum
irritation, the roots of your teeth are still firmly in their place.
untreated, gingivitis can progress into periodontitis. During this process, the
gums begin to pull away from the tooth creating pockets where bacteria can
collect and spread. Toxins produced by the bacteria, along with enzymes present
in your body’s natural defense of infections, begin to eat at the bone and
tissue that anchor your tooth. As the process continues, the corrosion spreads
and more gum tissue and bone are damaged. When this happens, teeth are no longer
anchored in place, thus resulting in permanent tooth loss.
buildup is the leading cause of gum disease, there are additional contributing
factors. Some of these include: illnesses that affect the immune system (HIV,
diabetes), poor lifestyle habits such as smoking or a diet high in sugar, poor
oral hygiene habits or a family history of periodontal disease.
symptoms of gum disease include:
- Gums that are susceptible to bleeding
- Red, swollen, or tender gums
- Persistent bad breath (halitosis)
receding gum line
- Loose or shifting teeth
Some progression of gum
disease may be present in your gums despite not having any symptoms. This is a
reason why regular dental check ups are important in the prevention and
treatment of gum disease. Only a dentist or periodontist will be able to
recognize symptoms of gum disease.
If you live in or around Austin
and you suspect you may be in need of gum
disease treatment or if you have any questions, contact us or fill out an
appointment request form today to schedule a consultation with one of our
periodontists. Our specialists are experts in evaluating your oral health and
will advise you along the appropriate treatment process.
Go back to Patient Education