Periodontitis is often known as ‘Gum Disease’ and is a very common condition. Gingivitis is the mildest form of periodontal disease. It is reversable with professional treatment and good oral health. Untreated gingivitis can advance to periodontitis. Plaque then spreads and grows below the gum line. As a result gums separate from the teeth, forming pockets that become infected.
This inflammation of the gums, which usually takes the form of redness, swelling and a tendency to bleed during tooth brushing, is the body’s response to certain bacteria that have been allowed to accumulate on the teeth. If left unchecked, the inflammation can spread down below the gums and along the roots of the teeth, causing destruction of the periodontal ligament and the supporting bone.This ultimately leads to the loosening and potential loss of the teeth.
Periodontal disease is a leading cause of tooth loss and may be associated with other chronic diseases including diabetes, heart disease, stroke, pneumonia, complications during pregnancy (premature birth-low birth weight), even cancer.
Periodontitis is both preventable and treatable. Although factors such as smoking, heredity, medications and lowered immunity make you more susceptible to gum disease, the most common cause is poor oral hygiene. Daily brushing and flossing and regular professional cleanings can greatly reduce your chances of developing periodontitis.