Periodontitis is an infection of the gums or jawbone. Painless in its early stages, periodontal disease often goes undetected until the later stages. Left untreated, it can lead to tooth loss. Common symptoms of periodontal disease include shrinking of the gums, formation of gaps between teeth and gums, dental infections, swelling and increased sensitivity, and halitosis (bad breath). If you are concerned about periodontal disease, it is important to recognize the disease’s symptoms and risk factors. The disease can be reversed if detected and treated early by your dentist in Peoria.
Gingivitis is the least serious form of gum disease. It can cause the gums to become inflamed, swell up, or bleed. Gingivitis is largely pain free and can be reversed with a combination of good dental treatment and excellent at-home dental hygiene practices. Regular check-ups, twice daily brushing, and daily flossing can all help prevent and treat gingivitis. You may be at a higher risk of contracting gingivitis if you:
- Are diabetic, HIV positive, or pregnant
- Suffer from certain chronic disease
- Smoke or abuse drugs
- Take certain medications
Left untreated, gingivitis can develop into periodontitis. Periodontitis occurs when plaque spreads to the gum line. The resulting bacterial toxins can cause inflammation of the gums, leading to the destruction of bone and tissue. Eventually, teeth may come lose or tooth loss may occur. There are several different varieties of periodontitis. The most common form is chronic periodontitis, in which the disease progresses slowly. However, some patients suffer from a more aggressive periodontitis which causes rapid deterioration of gum and tooth health. Some types of periodontitis are associated with systemic diseases such as heart disease, certain respiratory disorders, and diabetes. Finally, necrotizing periodontal disease can occur in patients with HIV or immunodeficiency, or as a result of malnutrition.