Harmful Gum Disease

If left untreated, common gingivitis can lead to advanced periodontal disease, tooth loss and more health issues.

Periodontal diseases are those that concern the gum and mouth environment that surrounds the teeth.  Bacteria, bad cleaning habits and other complications such as crooked teeth are the leading causes.

Common Gingivitis

The mildest and earliest form of periodontal disease is known as gingivitis.  This causes your gums to become swollen, reddish and to bleed when touched.  There is not much discomfort at this point, except maybe the odd soreness when brushing teeth.  The most common cause of gingivitis is improper oral hygiene techniques.  Proper oral care and professional dental treatment are usually able to reverse the effects of gingivitis.  Other contributing factors to this disease are aging, smoking, diabetes, genetics, stress, bad nutrition, hormonal fluctuations (puberty), pregnancy, drugs, certain medications and immune system disorders.

Harmful Gum Disease

Periodontal Disease

If gingivitis is left untreated it will advance into periodontitis.  This is when plaque spreads below the gum line where toxins that are produced by the bacteria inflame the gums.  This chronic inflammation essentially turns the body against itself, breaking down supporting tissues and bone.  Gums become unattached from the teeth and form areas for bacteria to grow.  The longer the disease is left untreated the bigger the spaces become and the more tissue or bone is damaged.  Symptoms display mildly until a tipping point is reached where teeth become loose and may need removal.

The most common forms of periodontal disease:

Aggressive periodontal disease:  This happens in patients who are otherwise healthy.  Side effects include gum retraction, tartar build up, bone damage with familial aggregation.

Chronic periodontal disease:  Supporting tissues around the teeth become inflamed causing progressive gum retraction and bone damage.  This is most prevalent in adults and is characterized y extreme pocket formation.  Sometimes it increases slowly but can intensify rapidly.

Systematic diseases leading to periodontitis:  This can begin at a young age where heart disease, diabetes or respiratory diseases contribute to this type of periodontal disease.

Necrotizing periodontitis: Necrosis of the gingival tissues characterizes this stage in combination with damage to the alveolar bone and periodontal ligament.  These lesions are usually seen in people who have immune deficiency diseases such as HIV, malnutrition or some sort of immunosuppression.

Help from a dental professional is the only way to get clear of the symptoms of periodontal disease and begin to reverse the process.  If left untreated the damage to your mouth can become irreversible.  If you would like more information about periodontal disease please visit our website at http://martindaledental.com/.