Gum disease is one of the main causes of teeth loss in adults whereas healthy gums mean healthy teeth, resulting in long lasting teeth.
Periodontics is focused on the gums' quality and gums' health, that is, it is focused on the tissues that support teeth (gums, tissues and alveolar bone).
Periodontal disease, also known as “gum disease”, is the term used for an inflammation of periodontal tissues.
It is often a chronic disease and can result in irreversible consequences if not treated as soon as possible.
Gingivitis: Inflammation that is only confined to the gum. It is the first phase of periodontal disease, being reversible if chosen the right treatment at the right time. This disease requires periodic surveillance by the Periodontist.
Periodontitis: Inflammation that affects all the supporting structures of teeth (gum, tissues and alveolar bone). It represents a more advanced stage of the disease, in which there is gum inflammation but also destruction of periodontal tissue and alveolar bone.
At this stage the damage caused by the disease is irreversible, since the lost structures are not replaced naturally. However, with proper professional monitoring, it is possible to preserve the remaining structures and eventually recover some lost structures.
Main Causes of Periodontal Disease
The most common cause of periodontal disease is bacterial plaque. Bacterial plaque is a biofilm that forms on teeth, consisting of bacteria, food scraps and saliva. Its accumulation causes gum inflammation and later, if not removed, penetrates the gingival sulcus (space between the teeth and gum), worsening the disease, and compromising other tissues (ligaments and bone).
In some situations, periodontal disease may get worse due to traumatic factors, hormonal changes, systemic diseases, tobacco, malnutrition, among others.
Signals ans Symptons
- Red and swollen gums;
- Gums that bleed when brushing;
- Sensitive gums;
- Bad taste;
- Bad breath.