Swollen gums can make brushing and flossing difficult. And bad breath can be embarrassing, but both are actually signs of something much more serious problem– gingivitis. These symptoms are often mild, so it’s tempting to ignore them. However, when gingivitis is left untreated, it can develop into a periodontal disease: periodontitis destroys the tissue and bone that support the teeth and can cause tooth loss. Periodontitis can also be transmitted to your loved ones via saliva.
Other warning signs of periodontal disease are: Spaces developing between your teeth, pus between your teeth and gums, loose teeth, and puffy, red, receding or bleeding gums.
Dental plaque is the primary cause of periodontal disease. You can prevent dental plaque by practicing good oral hygiene. That means brushing and flossing regularly; visiting the dentist for regular checkups and dental cleanings; and maintaining a well-balanced diet.
Other factors can increase the risk of periodontal disease, including:
Cigarettes and Tobacco, genetics, pregnancy (hormonal changes can make your gums sensitive and more susceptible to infection), and medications (certain drugs such as steroids, cancer therapy drugs and oral contraceptives can affect your gums).
You can help fight this disease with professional care and good home dental care. The dentist can perform deep cleanings known as SRPs, to remove plaque, tartar and then smoothes the tooth root to remove bacterial toxins. Dental surgery for periodontal disease includes pocket reduction procedures, crown lengthening and soft tissue grafts.