Periodontal disease, known by most as gum disease, is a chronic bacterial infection of your gums. If left untreated, it will damage your gums and the bone that supports your teeth, eventually leading to tooth loss. Periodontal disease has other, more serious health problems associated with it, including cardiovascular disease, diabetes, Alzheimer's, and preterm, low-birth-weight babies. Your oral health plays a big factor in your overall health. Dr. Davis and his team of professionals at The Arizona Institute for Periodontics & Dental Implants, can help.
You can spot the signs of gum disease. Indications include:
Even though some signs are undeniable, we ask patients to still be checked by Dr. Davis because periodontal disease is not always obvious. A bacterial infection may be silently but progressively destroying the soft gum tissues and bone that support your teeth.
There are many factors that can contribute to the beginnings of bacterial infection, and your oral hygiene is just one way. Other factors include:
There Are Different Stages of Periodontal Disease
Gingivitis is the most mild form of the disease. It is caused by bacteria irritating the gums. Bacteria is found in plaque, that sticky film that forms on the teeth and gums. As it hardens into calculus, it forms a rough surface along the gumline onto which more plaque accumulates, causing more irritation and swelling. Although this usually results in sore, bleeding gums, bad breath and spaces between the gums and teeth (pockets), there is no damage to the bone at this point.
Periodontitis is the next progressive step in periodontal disease. This occurs when plaque and possibly calculus are found below the gumline. The gums become irritated and bright red. They bleed easily when brushing or flossing and shrink back, or recede. The ligaments that attach the tooth roots to the bone break down and the gum detaches and pulls away from the teeth. The pockets deepen and fill with more bacteria. The damage to ligaments and bone results in loose teeth that can begin to shift and eventually fall out.
Advanced periodontitis is the final and most severe stage of the disease process. When periodontitis progresses to this advanced stage, pockets are deep and may fill with pus. There is typically swelling around tooth roots and sensitivity to hot or cold. As bone loss increases, tooth loss generally occurs. Sometimes the teeth need to be removed to preserve the overall health of your mouth.
We would love to assess and discuss your oral health with you. Leslie I. Davis, BDS, DDS, PC can make a difference in your comfort level, the health of your teeth and possibly your overall health. Contact our Sun City West, AZ office today at: (623) 584-0664.
Leslie I. Davis, BDS, DDS, PC
13802 W Camino del Sol Suite 103
Sun City West, AZ 85375-4486
Phone: (623) 584-0664
Fax: (623) 584-1728