What is periodontal disease?
Periodontal disease is a very serious dental disease that affects many people. It is caused by bacteria that live in plaque buildup on the teeth. In the mouth, plaque is constantly accumulating on the teeth, but when the plaque buildup becomes severe, the body’s immune system tries to fight the bacteria in plaque. This causes inflammation in the gums that results in swelling and bleeding, which are early signs of periodontal disease, called gingivitis. In severe forms of periodontal disease, the bacteria that live under the gums begin to damage the bone that supports the teeth, causing bone loss and loose teeth.
Other health risks of periodontal disease
There are studies that show a connection between periodontal disease and other health concerns, including:
- Cardiovascular disease
- Respiratory problems
- Increase risk of stroke
- Premature births in pregnant women
What can you do?
If you suspect that you may have signs of periodontal disease, such as inflammation and bleeding gums, make an appointment to consult with your dentist. At early stages, the process of the disease can be reversed through a cleaning or deep cleaning and proper oral hygiene maintenance. Maintaining good oral hygiene through brushing and flossing and regular visits to the dentist can help prevent periodontal disease.