Periodontal disease is another name for gum disease or periodontitis. It starts with bacteria in the mouth causing the gums to become inflamed and bleed easily during brushing and flossing. Left untreated, the disease can lead to gum tissue and bone loss, which can result in the loss of teeth as well. Periodontal disease is the leading cause of tooth loss in adults.
Gum disease is most frequently caused by not brushing and flossing on a daily basis, but there can be other factors that can affect the health of your gums, such as hormonal changes, illnesses, medications, smoking, and a family history of periodontal disease.
Symptoms of periodontal disease include:
- Gums that bleed during and after brushing and flossing
- Red, swollen, or tender gums
- Lasting bad breath or a bad taste in your mouth
- Receding gums
- Deep pockets forming between your gums and your teeth
- Loose teeth or teeth that have shifted position
- Changes in how your teeth fit together when you bite down or changes in how your partial dentures fit
Most periodontal disease can be treated with surgical and non-surgical treatment options depending on the stage of the disease and your overall health. To prevent periodontal disease, brush and floss daily, get a professional cleaning at least twice a year, and follow other recommendations Dr. Murphy may have for you.