Periodontal disease, also called gum disease, is an infection of the gums and bones that hold the teeth in place. If left untreated, gum disease can cause tooth loss. The good news is, gum disease is easy to prevent with proper dental hygiene and regular dental appointments.
Gingivitis is the initial stage of periodontal disease. Gum areas become increasingly red or dark and may bleed easily and appear swollen. At this stage, the disease is reversible. If not treated, gingivitis may lead to a more serious condition called periodontitis. Periodontics is an advanced stage of gum disease and it irreversibly damages gums, bones and other structures that support the teeth. At this stage, more complex treatment is necessary to prevent tooth loss.
A dental implant can be used to replace a single tooth or restore an entire smile and provide a more permanent solution. Dental implants are a good alternative for people who have generally good oral health and have lost their teeth due to an accident or have lost a tooth due to periodontal disease.
Warning signs of periodontitis include:
- gums that bleed easily.
- red, swollen or tender gums.
- gums that have pulled away from the teeth.
- pus between teeth and gums when the gums are pressed.
- persistent bad breath or bad taste.
- permanent teeth that are loose, separating or changing position.
- any change in the way your teeth fit together when you bite.
- any changes in the fit of partial dentures.
Gum disease is increasingly showing a strong relationship between dental care, specifically gum disease, and various medical conditions. Gum disease has been linked to increased risk of heart disease, diabetes, cancer, premature birth and low birth-weight babies. This is commonly known as the Mouth-Body Connection.