Causes/Signs of Gum Disease

Periodontal diseases affect four out of five adults. Without proper treatment, half of those individuals will lose teeth to the disease.

Periodontal (gum) diseases are infections caused in susceptible individuals by a colorless plaque or film of bacteria that forms on the tooth and root surfaces. When this bacterial film hardens to form calculus (tartar), the rough surface continues to accumulate even more harmful bacteria. The build-up of this bacterial plaque damages a normal protective seal between the gum tissue and the root surfaces. With the loss of this protective seal, the bacteria can burrow deeper under the gum tissue and the resulting infection slowly destroys the bone supporting your teeth. Eventually so much bone loss is caused by the infection that the teeth loosen or abscess and must be extracted.

Periodontal diseases normally progress in a slow and silent manner like most chronic diseases, but some forms can be rapidly destructive and quite painful.

In most instances of periodontal infection, one or more of the following symptoms appear, but they often then disappear, even as the disease continues to worsen:

  • Gums that bleed when brushing or flossing
  • Tender, red, or swollen gum tissue
  • Receding gums that expose the root surface
  • Loose teeth or a change in tooth position
  • A change in the bite
  • Increasing spaces between the teeth
  • Food gets caught between teeth
  • Bad breath or bad taste in the mouth

The American Academy of Periodontology's risk assessment test will help you see if you are at risk for having or developing gum disease. Millions of people don't know they have this problem that can result in tooth loss.

The good news is that most forms of periodontal disease are preventable and, when they occur, treatable. Your dentist, dental hygienist and periodontist are all committed to helping you gain control over your periodontal infection so you do not suffer more severe consequences of the disease. Remember. . . we are here to help you Protect and Create the Foundations of Your Smile!

      Gum inflammation (swelling and redness)
       is present
before treatment.

                         Ideal normal healthy gums.