What is Periodontal Disease?
Periodontal disease is where the gums become inflamed due to bacteria in plaque and calculus, which accumulates above and below the gum line of the teeth. This causes the gums to bleed and they may also become swollen, red and tender. This condition is called gingivitis and may also be a cause of bad breath.
In susceptible individuals, the disease may progress destroying the gum attachment to the tooth causing it to pull away from the teeth and creating a pocket around the tooth; these pockets are laden with bacteria. The progression of the disease also leads to bone loss around the tooth, which is irreversible. Over time destruction of these supporting tissues may lead to tooth mobility or tooth loss. This advanced form of gum disease is called Periodontitis. This is a common cause of severe bad breath in patients.
Periodontal disease has recently been found to have links to serious health conditions. There have been numerous studies conducted into the connection between periodontal disease and other serious health conditions including diabetes, arthritis, irritable bowel disease and heart disease. It is not yet fully clear how periodontal disease affects the body as a whole but scientists think it is the inflammatory nature of the disease, which may increase the risk of developing other health conditions, or worsen existing health problems.
It is very important to have the plaque and calculus removed on a regular basis by your dentist to prevent gingivitis and bad breath. Periodontitis or more advanced cases of gum disease may require your gums to be deep cleaned, a procedure that is also be called root scaling and planning. This can be done by the dentists in our practice who are well trained in the diagnosis and treatment of gum disease. In severe cases we may refer you to see a periodontist (gum) specialist.