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What Exactly is Periodontal Disease?
Posted on 7/7/2020 by Emerson Todd Rowley, DMD
What Exactly is Periodontal Disease?Periodontal disease is more commonly known as gum disease. It begins when plaque and bacteria collect on your teeth, irritating your gums. This irritation triggers an immune response, which causes your gums to swell. This early stage of gum disease, called gingivitis, is easy to miss, and often goes untreated. When this happens, it continues to progress. Swollen gums begin to pull away from the surfaces of your teeth, causing the formation of periodontal pockets. Bacteria become stuck in these pockets and cannot be removed with brushing and flossing. They continue attacking your gums while also beginning to attack your jawbone and periodontal ligaments. Eventually, the ligaments and the bone begin to weaken, causing your teeth to become loose. They may even fall out.

What Causes Periodontal Disease?

Periodontal disease can be caused by some different issues.

•  Poor oral hygiene. Brushing, flossing, and regular dental visits are all essential for keeping your teeth and gums healthy. Skipping any part of this routine, even only occasionally, can lead to a buildup on your teeth.
•  Alignment issues. If your teeth are misaligned, your teeth are harder to brush and floss, creating spaces that can accumulate buildup.
•  Lifestyle habits such as smoking and excessive drinking. Cigarettes restrict oxygen and slow your blood flow, which slows the delivery of nutrients to your gums. Alcohol can lead to dry mouth, which creates an ideal environment for bacterial growth.
•  Certain medications.
•  Nutritional deficiencies.
•  Hormonal changes.

Periodontal Disease Symptoms

The symptoms of periodontal disease vary based on how far the disease has progressed. The earliest stage, gingivitis, is characterized by red, swollen gums that often bleed when you brush and floss. Other symptoms of periodontal disease include:

•  Gum recession.
•  Root exposure and sensitivity.
•  Small gaps appearing between your teeth.
•  Bad breath that will not go away.
•  Your teeth become loose.
•  Your teeth may shift out of their natural alignment.
•  Tooth loss.

When periodontal disease develops, treatment is needed right away. Call Tualatin Family & Cosmetic Dentistry today to schedule your consultation at (503) 878-7474.
Tualatin Family & Cosmetic Dentistry

(503) 878-7474
8555 SW Tualatin Rd, Tualatin, OR