Periodontal disease, which is also referred to as gum disease or periodontitis, is a common condition where an oral inflammation affects the surrounding tissues of the teeth and gums. Also affected is the jawbone itself when not properly treated in its earlier stages. Mild infection and gingivitis usually precede periodontal disease. This is when a bacterial infection which contains toxins inside the plaque begins to affect the gums and causes them to become irritated and inflamed around the gum tissue. As this infection colonizes and settles in the gum pockets which are found in-between the teeth, it will become more and more difficult to treat and remove.
This oral health disease is progressive and will eventually lead to advanced decay of the connective tissue and even the jawbone in later stages. When not properly addressed it can contribute to loose and shifting teeth to ultimately tooth loss. In fact, it is the leading reason for tooth loss in adults across the developed world and the dental practitioners here at Dr. Hilton Israelson should have a look at it immediately after symptoms first develop.
Causes and Types
There are a number of different reasons that patients develop periodontal disease. It may be overall poor dental health and hygiene, smoking, bad diet, diabetes, as well as a many other possible causes. Regardless of what may have caused it, early detection and immediate treatment are the key to containing it and getting rid of it.
There are four different types of periodontal disease in particular, although only one kind is common; it’s called chronic periodontitis. This is where the inflammation in the patient’s mouth and particularly in the soft supporting tissue around the teeth causes deep pockets to form. It also causes the gums to recede as well.
Another type is aggressive periodontitis where an otherwise healthy person has a sudden case that comes up out of nowhere and proceeds to cause rapid symptoms and advancement. Necrotizing periodontitis is far less common and tends to occur in patients with systemic illnesses and conditions such as malnutrition, immunosuppression, or even HIV or AIDS. There is also a form of it that begins at an early age as part of a larger problem or systemic disease.
Short- and Long-Term Effects
The early problems associated with periodontal issues are things such as bleeding gums when brushing, bad breath or a persistent foul taste in the mouth, discomfort, high sensitivity to hot and/or cold, and even the inability to eat certain types of food. The issues that arise after continual neglect are much worse. These include shifting teeth, changes in bite and possibly even speech, and eventually loss of teeth, which leads to self-consciousness and embarrassment.
To find out more about periodontal disease as well as how to prevent it, set up a time to come and see our dental professionals here at Dr. Hilton Israelson. And if you prefer to speak with one of our helpful staff members over the phone, simply give us a call at (972) 669-9444.