Periodontal disease is one of the leading causes of tooth loss among people at any age range. Periodontal disease, also known as gum disease, is the chronic inflammation of the gums or the soft tissues surrounding the affected tooth. It can range from mild to serious periodontal disease.

The mild form of periodontal disease is called gingivitis. It is simply the inflammation of gums. Gingivitis is characterized by red, swollen, and bleeding gums. It is reversible with the practice of good oral hygiene. If left untreated, it could lead to a more serious form of periodontal disease called periodontitis. Periodontitis is the condition where the soft tissue surrounding each tooth is inflamed. It is characterized by the presence of bad breath, dental pocket formation, and receding gums. If left untreated, this could lead to tooth loss.

What causes periodontal disease? It is mostly caused by the presence of bacteria in the mouth that when combined with high sugar food debris, could result to formation of dental plaques. When the plaque accumulates and hardens into tartar, it could irritate and inflame the gums or the surrounding tissues of the teeth. The inflammation could lead to infection. The bacteria will then descend on the tooth’s gum pocket where plaque could form and eventually harden. When it calcifies, it would be harder to remove thus allowing the progression of the infection to the connective tissues of the tooth.

There are factors which could increase one’s chances into having periodontal disease and these are:

  • smoking
  • hormonal changes especially during pregnancy
  • illness such as diabetes mellitus,
  • poor nutrition as manifested by increased sugar and carbohydrate intake; and less vitamin c rich foods
  • poor oral hygiene
  • a presence of misaligned teeth