Understanding Periodontal Disease: Causes, Symptoms, And Stages

Gum disease, sometimes referred to as periodontal disease, is a serious condition that can harm your teeth as well as the surrounding bone structure. If left untreated, this issue can have serious consequences for your oral health in general. 

The purpose of this blog post is to help you understand what is periodontal disease, why it happens, and how it will affect the overall health of your mouth. By understanding these symptoms you will be able to get treatment at the right time and this way you will avoid further damage to your oral health. At Dr. Roland Zhuka’s Dental Clinic, we try our best to make our patients feel comfortable and we use the latest technology in our treatments including periodontal care and dental implant surgery.

What Is Periodontal Disease?

Periodontal disease also known as gum disease is an oral health issue that is very common nowadays. This condition has several stages varying from mild to severe. During the early stage which is known as gingivitis, the plaque starts to build up and accumulate on the teeth and gum line which eventually will cause inflammation to the gums and makes them bleed. If it is not treated at the right time, the condition will progress more and it will eventually progress in a more severe stage called periodontitis. During this stage, the infection will get worse and it will reach the bone and connective tissues of the teeth. 

Just like with any other health condition, early detection is the key to preventing further infection and harm to your teeth. If the illness is detected in its early stages it will be easily treated, so you won’t face pain and discomfort. However, after the treatment, you should be careful and keep a routine of brushing your teeth and flossing them regularly.

Recognizing Symptoms Of Periodontal Disease

Understanding the warning signs and the symptoms of periodontal disease is very important when it comes to protecting your smile. Some of the initial symptoms may vary from bleeding and swollen gums to ongoing bad breath. Once you start to notice any of these signs give a call to your dentist. It may either be a symptom of periodontal disease or another problem. Whatever it is it is best to know early. 

Because the plaque and calculus build up around your gum line, periodontal disease will attack the foundation of your teeth. If your body is not capable of handling it very well and if it is left untreated the infection will reach the root and it will eventually cause tooth loss. Some of the most common symptoms that indicate the presence of periodontal disease include:

  • If you notice that your gums have become sensitive look red and puffy and they bleed every time you brush them, it could be a sign of gingivitis which is the earliest stage of periodontal disease. 
  • Gum disease will most likely cause bad breath and because brushing them will be difficult due to the sensitivity people often avoid brushing them at all. 
  • Tooth sensitivity is another common symptom of periodontal disease. People may feel discomfort when eating or drinking hot beverages and foods. Once the gums have receded, the root of the tooth will be exposed and every signal coming from outside factors will go directly there. This will most likely happen when the periodontal disease has advanced. 
  • When left untreated periodontal disease will cause gum recession and bone loss. If you notice that your teeth appear longer than normal and you don’t bite the same as before, you should immediately contact a dentist. These signs will happen when the disease has advanced and the issues are more severe. 

You must get expert dental treatment as soon as possible if you notice or experience any of these symptoms. Maintaining your dental health and preventing the further advancement of periodontal disease can be accomplished with early identification and treatment. You can maintain the health and brightness of your smile with regular dental checkups and appropriate oral hygiene practices.

Our experienced staff are ready to go with you on this life-changing adventure. We provide custom treatment plans using state-of-the-art scans and thorough examinations to protect your beautiful smile. Never undervalue the importance of preventative care—it is the foundation for a bright, lasting smile.

Complications Of Untreated Periodontal Disease

When left untreated periodontal disease will not only affect your oral health but will also have a great impact on your overall health. It will go as far as impacting the health of your heart and diabetes management. Some of the complications that untreated periodontal disease will cause include:

  • Once our oral health is impacted it will not only cause issues in our oral health but also in our general health. 
  • The bacterial infection and long-term inflammation linked to gum disease can lead to heart disease and stroke.

Effect On Pregnancy And Overall Health

Periodontal health becomes even more important for women who are expecting a child. According to research, women who have untreated gum disease during their pregnancies may be more likely to experience premature birth and low birth weight. The growing baby’s health can be directly impacted by the mother’s dental health. 

Beyond pregnancy, the effects of untreated periodontal disease can affect our general well-being and way of living, affecting everything from the strength of our immune system to our capacity to eat and talk comfortably. once you understand the effects of gum disease and your overall health, you will understand how important it is to manage it as soon as you notice a sign. 

The possible consequences of untreated periodontal disease can be avoided by seeking expert dental treatment while following a strict oral hygiene routine. Let’s prioritize the bright smile that represents our whole well-being and acknowledge the connection between our health. Remember that having good oral health opens the door to both a beautiful smile and a longer, healthier life. 

Gum Disease: An Illness In Different Stages

The two main stages of gum disease are gingivitis and periodontitis. While gingivitis is the most common form of gum disease and the mildest, it can be cured and reversed. On the other hand, periodontitis is the last stage of gum disease and it happens when gingivitis is left untreated. The four stages of periodontitis include:

  1. Periodontitis Stage 1: Initial stage
  2. Periodontitis Stage 2: Moderate stage
  3. Periodontitis Stage 3: Severe with potential for tooth loss
  4. Periodontitis Stage 4: Potential for loss of all the teeth

Gingivitis

You should know that our mouths are full of bacteria and when they stay for a long time on our teeth they will harden and form into a sticky film called plaque. This will happen if teeth are not brushed and flossed regularly as they should. The immune system of the body reacts to plaque that isn’t removed, inflaming the gums. Inflamed gums frequently bleed when you wash or floss your teeth, and they can seem redder and puffier than usual. This may start to show in as soon as two weeks. 

Spotting plaque is not very easy especially when you are cleaning them because of the toothpaste. So in order to have a better look you should set an appointment with your dentist. Most people will neglect these signs and postpone the visits. When plaque is not cleaned professionally it will harden more and it will turn into calculus also known as tartar which is a sticky substance.

Salivary glands in healthy individuals produce “supragingival” calculus on the lower front teeth, which is frequently noticeable. It comes from the minerals in your saliva and has a creamy golden color. Your periodontist, hygienist, or dentist can easily remove this kind of calculus. 

The more dangerous kind, known as “subgingival calculus,” is black in colour and develops behind the gum line. Even for a dentist, it might be difficult to identify because it is invisible. Thus, it is really challenging to get rid of it entirely. Because there is blood present when your gums are swollen, it has a black color. If you have black subgingival calculus, you most likely have one of the most severe forms of gum disease.

Since gingivitis is often painless, its symptoms can be easily ignored. Too frequently, individuals blame it on overly vigorous brushing. However, bleeding gums are a red flag that must never be ignored, and keep in mind that healthy gums will not bleed unless there is an accident.

The only stage of gum disease that may be treated is gingivitis. It may be avoided with good dental hygiene practices at home and routine cleanings and checkups. Your dentist or periodontist can help you cure it and restore full health to your gums. 

Periodontitis – Stage 1: Initial

Gingivitis might progress to Stage 1 Periodontitis if treatment is not performed. At this point, the gum inflammation starts to harm your oral health. Anywhere in the body, chronic (long-term) inflammation has the potential to be harmful. Prolonged inflammation can cause damage to joints affected by arthritis, including the fingers, hips, and knees.

The fibers connecting the teeth roots to the socket are harmed by the inflammation associated with periodontitis. The “periodontal ligament” is made up of these fibers, and injury to them is irreversible. It might be challenging to distinguish this stage from gingivitis because of its almost identical signs and symptoms.

At this point, you won’t experience any pain or other symptoms. however when you brush, though, your gums will continue to bleed and will become more irritated. Gum disease cannot be stopped once it has advanced to this point, but a skilled periodontist and dental team can effectively treat it. Debridement, also known as deep cleaning of your teeth is the first step in treating early periodontal disease. Debridement is a thorough process that cleans your gums and tooth roots of calculus and germs.

Periodontitis – Stage 2: Moderate

Your disease will worsen to Stage 2—Moderate Periodontitis—if you don’t receive therapy for your first periodontitis. The degree of damage to the ligaments or joints that connect the tooth root to its socket is the primary distinction between early and moderate periodontitis. Because there is greater damage, which is unfortunately irreversible, moderate periodontitis should be easily detected by your dentist.

Periodontitis – Stage 3: Severe (With Potential For Tooth Loss)

When we enter the third stage of periodontal disease, we are at the stage where the risk of tooth loss is real and it has a great chance of happening. 

It is still unlikely that you will feel pain if your gum disease has progressed to this point. On the other hand, because your gums will have receded, you may notice bad breath, an off taste, and teeth that appear longer. Also, you could see that your teeth are shifting or coming loose. When you bite into them, the way they fit together can shift. Biting may also cause discomfort, and occasionally patients have painful localized swellings or pus-filled abscesses.

At this point, every possible course of action to address the problem is available, including periodontal surgery. Some teeth could already be beyond saving and will require dental implants or dentures to be restored. However, a periodontist can assist you in determining which course of action is best for you and will maximize the number of teeth that can be saved. periodontal specialists occasionally spot opportunities that regular dentists miss.

Periodontitis – Stage 4: Severe (With Potential For The Loss Of All Teeth)

People are frequently missing multiple teeth by the time they reach Stage 4, and the ones that are left are frequently loose. The teeth cannot be strong enough to handle the power of your bite when you try to chew because there isn’t enough gum or bone to support them.

The front teeth will be noticeably split and drifting, and spaces will start to appear between them. Receiving therapy at this point is really important. Progression of periodontal disease might result in other severe health issues including diabetes or even a heart attack.

Although it cannot be undone, it may be controlled. Even at this advanced stage, gum disease may be stabilized with the assistance of your periodontist and frequently other dental professionals including prosthodontists and orthodontists. 

When Stage 4 is reached, people frequently think about having all of their teeth removed and having dental implants placed in their place. The issue is that gum disease can also be brought on by dental implants. Gum disease and implants are far more costly and difficult to cure. We have witnessed several instances of patients who had all of their teeth replaced with implants only to experience the same issue afterwards. It is highly advised that you speak with a skilled periodontist before making this decision. Teeth cannot be replaced once removed.

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