Periodontitis, or gum disease, affects many people who have no idea they are suffering from the condition. It is often a painless infection that occurs in the tissues that support and surround the teeth. It is the most common cause of tooth loss. If left untreated, gum disease can lead to other serious complications including tooth loss. Therefore, it is important for it to be diagnosed and treated. Medical professionals now suggest a possible relationship between gum disease and serious conditions like diabetes and some cancers.
What Causes Gum Disease?
Plaque is a thin film made of bacteria, or microorganisms, that build up on the teeth. This can harden and become tartar if it is not dealt with. Tartar forms around the gum line and usually is a visible yellow or brown color. Tartar excretes a toxin that causes the gums to become inflamed. This leads to the formation of pockets that hold toxins and bacteria which leads to gum disease.
Signs and Symptoms of Gum Disease
Even though an individual may suffer from gum disease and not be aware of it, there are some signs or symptoms associated with the condition. Many people will suffer from swollen, tender or bleeding gums. Some individuals have constant bad breath, pus between their teeth or oozing from their gums, or loose teeth. There may also be a noticeable change in the way the teeth fit together. Detecting gum disease is relatively simple and easily treated, especially if it is caught early on.
Treatment of Gum Disease
Scaling and root planing are ways to clean the teeth both above and below the gum line. This is the most effective treatment option for those suffering from gum disease. In most cases, antibiotic treatments are used in conjunction with these professional cleaning methods.