What We See the Most
Periodontal (gum) disease is an infection of the soft-tissues that hold your teeth in place. It's why dental professionals try so hard to get their patients to brush and floss well (and regularly). When patients don't do that, it allows plaque (a sticky film of bacteria) to build up on the teeth and harden. Periodontal disease can lead to sore, bleeding gums; painful chewing problems; bone loss - and tooth loss.
According to the National Institutes for Health, plaque that is not removed can harden and form “tartar” that brushing doesn’t clean. Only a professional cleaning by a dentist or dental hygienist can remove tartar and, in many cases, a visit to the periodontist is required.
There are a number of risk factors for gum disease, but smoking is the most significant. Smoking also can make treatment for gum disease less successful. Other risk factors include diabetes; hormonal changes in girls and women; diabetes; medications that lessen the flow of saliva; certain illnesses, and their medications; and genetic susceptibility.
Symptoms of gum disease include:
• Bad breath that won’t go away
• Red or swollen gums
• Tender or bleeding gums
• Painful chewing
• Loose teeth
• Sensitive teeth
• Receding gums or longer appearing teeth