What is Periodontal Disease?

What is Periodontal Disease

Periodontal disease is the infection of the tissues of the mouth by harmful bacteria. While you expect your mouth to contain bacteria (it’s possible to find over five hundred different varieties), with good oral hygiene and the help of your immune system you can keep their presence from being clinically infectious. Without good oral hygiene, the first stage of periodontal disease, gingivitis, can progress to even more serious consequences for your oral and overall body health.

Gingivitis, commonly called gum disease, begins when bacteria work their way below the gum and form colonies of plaque. One Scientific American writer compares this sticky biofilm to coral reefs — meaning lots of little organisms are building on top of each other to create a real hazard for your gums, teeth and bones. As your immune system tries to destroy the invaders and prevent them from creating their “coral reef” home, molecules released to destroy the bacteria also end up causing inflammation, which leads to bleeding gums.

Now consider this: if you brushed your hair and your scalp started bleeding, what would you do? Would you ignore it? Would you wash or brush your hair less in the hopes that it will stop? Would you try to cure it yourself with more shampoo? The best thing to do is make an immediate appointment with a doctor!

When some people notice their gums are swollen and bleeding, however, it is very common for them to ignore this serious symptom of infection. When they find a hard, irritating growth underneath their gums and in between their teeth, they do relatively little about it. When their breath begins to smell bad due to the presence of these harmful bacteria, they often just resort to mints or mouthwash. If any other part of your body was swollen, bleeding, encrusted with hard, sticky growths and starting to stink, your reaction would be immediate — get medical attention! But with gingivitis, it is often allowed to progress to the next and most serious stage of periodontal disease — periodontitis.

Periodontitis occurs when the spread of the infecting bacteria causes the immune system to react so vigorously that the gums and tissues surrounding the teeth begin to be destroyed. The teeth become loose as the bones and connective tissues surrounding them are dissolved by the action and reaction of the bacteria and your body fighting against them. At this stage, serious damage is done that requires considerable effort to repair, if repair is possible.

How much better it would be if everyone took immediate steps towards a cure at the first signs of periodontal disease! Gums are normally a pink color and fit tightly around the teeth. When gums become red, swollen, loose, or bleeding it is a serious sign of ill health.

If you are suffering from these symptoms, don’t let this oral disease progress any further! The dentists at the Sacramento Dentistry Group are prepared to help with safe and painless treatments. If you find yourself unable to make an appointment due to fears of dentists, we also offer sleep dentistry, the most comfortable way to care for your teeth and gums.

Periodontal disease is a serious condition with unwelcome consequences. If you are suffering with it, let the Sacramento Dentistry Group help you end this dangerous infection today!

  • Myra
    Posted at 10:29h, 10 July Reply

    This is a great article! My mom always said that if we have healthy mouths, we have healthy bodies. I can see why!

  • Jessica (@squareduptweets)
    Posted at 15:32h, 02 August Reply

    Yuck, coral reefs of plaque, now there is a great analogy to get someone into the dentist. I know people who come from countries where dentistry was either very primitive or out of the question financially. They say they don’t floss their teeth because when they do their gums bleed. All the more reason to keep flossing!

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