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Plano aproximado de médico dentista e assistente dentária a tratar os dentes da paciente que está deitada na cadeira de dentista.


Gum disease is one of the main causes of tooth loss in adults. On the other hand, healthy gums contribute to healthy teeth and the durability of treatments performed in the mouth.

Periodontology or Periodontics is concerned with the quality and health of the gums, and is dedicated to the study, diagnosis and treatment of the periodontium, that is, the structures that surround and support the tooth (gum, ligaments and alveolar bone).

Periodontal disease

Periodontal disease, also known as “gum disease”, results in inflammation of the tissues of the periodontium.

It is often a chronic disease that can have irreversible consequences if not treated in a timely manner.

Gingivitis: Inflammation that is only confined to the gums. It is the first stage of periodontal disease, being reversible if treated in time and in the most appropriate way, requiring the follow-up of an Oral Health professional.

Periodontitis: Inflammation that affects all the supporting structures of the tooth (gum, ligaments and alveolar bone).

This is a more advanced stage of disease, in which there is gingival inflammation but also destruction of periodontal ligaments and alveolar bone. At this stage, the damage caused by the disease is irreversible, since the lost structures are not replaced naturally. However, with adequate professional monitoring, it is possible to preserve the remaining structures and eventually recover some lost structures.

Photograph of a mouth with gingivitis where you can see some bleeding.
Detailed schematic of gingivitis manifestation showing inflamed gingiva and accumulation of plaque and tartar.
Photograph of a mouth with periodontitis where it is possible to see some inflammation.
Detailed schematic of the manifestation of periodontitis showing inflamed gingiva, accumulation of plaque and tartar, and loss of alveolar bone.

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 debris and saliva. Its accumulation causes gingival inflammation and later, if not removed, penetrates the gingival sulcus (space between the tooth and the gum) leading to aggravation of the disease, and compromising other tissues (ligaments and bone).

In some situations, periodontal disease can be aggravated by traumatic factors, hormonal changes, systemic diseases, tobacco, malnutrition, among others.

Signs and symptoms


  • Red and swollen gums;

  • Gums that bleed when brushing;

  • Sensitive gums;

  • Bad taste;

  • Bad breath.

Periodontal treatment always depends on the stage of the disease and the results obtained depend largely on the care and commitment of the patient.


  • All the signs and symptoms of gingivitis;

  • Retracted gums;

  • Exposed tooth root;

  • Tooth sensitivity;

  • Tooth mobility (jangling teeth);

  • Alveolar bone loss;

  • Tooth loss.

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