Periodontitis is a common serious gum infection that usually damages the soft tissues and destroys your bone that supports your teeth. This infection generally results in tooth loss and can increase the risk of heart attack and stroke. Periodontitis is mainly the result of poor oral hygiene.
The common symptoms associated with periodontitis include:
- Bright red gums
- Swollen gums
- Gum that feel tender when touched
- Gums that makes your teeth look longer
- Space between your teeth
- Pus accumulation between your teeth and gums
- Bad breath
- Loose teeth
- Bad taste in your mouth
Periodontitis is categorized into two categories mainly:
Chronic periodontitis is most commonly seen in adults when compared to children.
Aggressive periodontitis begins during childhood or early adulthood and is less common when compared to chronic periodontitis.
Periodontitis generally begins with a plaque in your mouth. Plaques are formed when the starch and sugars in your food interacts with the bacteria present in your mouth. These plaques can be removed in the initial stages by brushing and flossing your teeth. There is a high risk of recurrence of plaques within 24 hours of cleaning.
The plaque that stays on your teeth for a longer time such as 2-3 days may become hard under your gum line into tartar. Tartar may also result due to the mineral content present in your saliva. Due to the presence of tartar, it is very difficult to remove the plaques. To remove tartar complete professional dental cleaning is required as normal brushing and flossing will not help in the removal.
You need to make sure the tartar and plaques are removed at the earliest. The longer the tartar and plaques remain in your mouth, the bigger the damage they can cause. In the initial stages the plaques may cause irritation and inflame the gingiva which may result in gingivitis. Gingivitis is the mildest form of periodontal disease.
The presence of plaques and tartar ca increase the inflammation leading to the development of pockets between your gums and teeth. These pockets are generally filled with plaque, tartar and bacteria. Bacteria present in these pockets will deposit endotoxins that are responsible for inflammation around your teeth.
As the infection progresses, the number of bacteria increases in these pockets and these pockets become deeper and generally grows under the gum tissues. These deep pockets can cause the loss bone or tissues and may cause damage. In case if the bone gets damaged it may result in loss of one or more teeth.
Periodontitis Risk Factors
There are many risk factors that are known to increase the risk of periodontitis. They are:
- Poor oral health habits
- Tobacco use
- Older age
- Low immunity
- Poor nutrition
- Hormonal changes
- Drug abuse
To prevent periodontitis, you need to take care of your oral hygiene. Daily brushing and flossing your teeth twice a day will help in reducing the risk of periodontitis. Try and brush your teeth after every meal to avoid accumulation of food particles in between your teeth.
Flossing is generally preferred before brushing your teeth as it helps in cleaning away the loosened food particles and bacteria present in your mouth. You need to consult your dentist every 6 months to avoid the risk of infection. Consult your dentist if professional dental cleaning is required to prevent the risk of periodontitis.