Periodontal, or gum, disease is much more than just bleeding gums. This condition describes infected and inflamed gums caused by bacteria in your mouth. When bacteria builds up in the mouth, dental plaque forms. Research shows that this plaque is directly related to poor gum health and periodontal disease.

When periodontal disease goes untreated, the consequences can be serious. It can lead to periodontitis, which affects the bone that supports your teeth. Additionally, periodontal disease is linked to an increased risk in stroke, diabetes and respiratory disease.

How is it Treated?

There are a variety of different ways to treat periodontal disease. When the condition is still in its early stages, periodontal disease can be treated with nonsurgical procedures. Some of these nonsurgical treatments include:

  • Scaling
  • Antibiotics
  • Root planing

If the disease has advanced, surgical treatments may be necessary. Some surgical treatments for periodontal disease include:

  • Soft tissue grafts
  • Bone grafting
  • Flap surgery
  • Guided tissue regeneration

Signs and Symptoms of Periodontal Disease

Normally, healthy gums fit around the teeth, feel firm and comfortable, and look light pink. Signs of periodontal disease include:

  • Red or purplish gums
  • Irritated, swollen or puffy gums
  • Pus around or between your teeth or gums
  • Bleeding and painful gums
  • Painful chewing
  • Receding or tender gums
  • Spaces forming between the teeth
  • Changes in how your teeth and gums look and fit

Periodontal Disease Prevention

The best way to prevent periodontal disease is to practice good oral hygiene. Brush and floss daily and observe how your teeth and gums look and feel. Regular visits to your dentist can ensure that your teeth and gums are healthy and help prevent periodontal disease and other oral health issues.

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