Periodontitis, or periodontal disease, is the most severe form of gum disease. It is caused by bacteria in dental plaque that forms on your teeth and causes inflamed gums. Left untreated, the inflammation from periodontitis gum disease can spread below the gum line to destroy tissues and bones in the mouth that hold the teeth in place. As a result, the teeth shift and loosen, and extraction may be necessary to prevent further infection.
In the early stages, it is common to experience the following periodontitis symptoms:
- Swollen, bright red gums
- Spaces developing between teeth causing pockets to form
- A buildup of pus between teeth and gums
- Bad breath or a bad taste in the mouth
- Loose teeth that don't fit together when you bite
- Gums that are receding or pulling away from the teeth
- Persistent sores in your mouth
- Pain or bleeding when chewing
The primary cause of gum disease is plaque. Early on, a person may experience red or swollen gums that bleed during toothbrushing. These signs are indicative of gingivitis, the mildest form of all the gum disease stages. During this phase the gums may be irritated, but the teeth remain firmly rooted in their sockets.
Aggressive periodontitis develops when gingivitis is not treated. The plaque begins to move below the gum line, which causes the soft tissue to separate from the teeth and recede. Irreversible tissue damage and bone deterioration start to occur. While symptoms of gingivitis can be reversed with diligent at-home care and professional cleanings, advanced periodontitis requires more aggressive treatment or surgical procedures to stop the disease from advancing.
Certain factors can increase a patient’s risk of developing gum disease, including:
- Poor oral hygiene
- Tobacco use
- Poorly aligned teeth
- Certain medications
How to Treat This Condition
At Natomas Crossing Dental Care, we offer a variety of periodontitis treatment options that address gum disease at its various stages. Mild cases can be treated with scaling and root planing — a non-surgical treatment for disease that involves removing plaque and tartar from below the gum line and deep in the dental pocket.
Severe forms may require more complex treatments, including surgery to reshape the gums or regenerate lost bone. If teeth have been lost, dental implants may be recommended to restore aesthetics and functionality to the mouth. Our dentists and hygienists always emphasize good oral hygiene as the most effective way to prevent gum disease. Daily brushing and flossing can go a long way in reducing the buildup of plaque and bacteria in the mouth that cause infection.
Your Cure — Contact Natomas Crossing Dental Care Today
If you have signs of gum disease, it doesn’t mean that you have to lose your teeth. The first step to getting your condition under control is to visit an experienced periodontal team offering personalized treatment and state-of-the-art technologies for diagnosing, treating and managing gum disease. At Natomas Crossing Dental Care, we offer many services to prevent the development of this condition and to help treat it. To learn more today, call our office at 916-928-9999. Or, schedule an appointment if you are due for a preventive exam and cleaning.