Periodontal disease, the medical term for gum disease, is a bacterial infection and inflammation of the gums. It affects over 47% of adults who are over 30. Many cases of periodontal disease go often go unnoticed for long periods of time because there is no pain in its early stages. It is commonly contracted due to tartar at the gum line, but certain things like tobacco use and certain medical conditions can accelerate periodontal infections.
The earliest stage of gum disease is known as gingivitis. Early symptoms of gingivitis are red or inflamed gums that bleed easily when brushing or flossing, and also having bad breath. A person with these symptoms can reverse them through regular dental cleanings and practicing daily oral hygiene.
When these symptoms are ignored, the disease will advance into periodontitis. The infection and inflammation will spread deep into the gum tissue and pull it away from your teeth. The space it makes between the gum and the teeth are perfect places for an infection to form. Periodontitis can also cause tooth and bone loss over time.
Many cases of periodontitis have resulted in systemic inflammations that tax the immune system. This can cause a person to develop other medical conditions and diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, and some types of cancer.
If you think you may have periodontal disease, call (503) 221-8123 now to schedule an appointment at Portland Dental in Portland, Oregon to get treatment from Drs. Kaveen and Schwab.