Periodontal disease affects the gums of hundreds of thousands. Gingivitis is the most common and mild form of periodontal disease. Gingivitis causes the gums to become red, swollen, and possibly infected. A person affected by gingivitis may find that their gums bleed easily, or without any provocation at all.

If left untreated, gingivitis will eventually become periodontitis, a serious disease with major health ramifications. Periodontitis is caused by plaque that forms and then builds up beneath the gum line, against and around the teeth. The gums will eventually separate from the teeth entirely, forming spaces that will become painful and infected with bacteria. As bacteria multiply within the gum pockets, it will eventually affect the surrounding tissues of the teeth, weakening them to the point where they may require extraction or fall out on their own.

Signs Of Periodontal Disease

Every case of periodontal disease is unique, and symptoms vary from person to person. You may not have all of these symptoms, and in the early stages, you may not even be aware you have gingivitis.

* Swollen gums
* Bleeding gums
* Pockets between your gums and your teeth
* Pain when chewing or brushing your teeth
* Halitosis (bad breath)

How Do You Prevent Periodontal Disease?

Good oral hygiene is essential for preventing the onset and spread of periodontal disease. Brush at least twice a day – after breakfast and before going to bed – and use antibacterial mouthwash. Regular flossing is a must. Proper flossing, between and around teeth, will help to break up and clean out bits of food and bacteria your toothbrush cannot reach.

If you already have periodontal disease, it is not too late to pick up good oral hygiene habits and overcome the condition. Consult your periodontist to discuss a treatment plan. Gingivitis can often be treated simply by brushing and flossing every day and periodontitis can be alleviated with the help of a dental professional.

How Is Periodontal Disease Treated?

The first step your periodontist will take is to clean your teeth and gums of plaque and tartar. This is a process known as root planing and scaling. The periodontist will take a metal utensil and carefully scrape tartar off the roots your teeth and out of the pockets in your gums. Laser therapy may be used alongside the dental instrument, as it reduces discomfort and is often more effective at removing tartar.

After the root planing and scaling, your periodontist might decide to prescribe a medication. You may be prescribed an antibiotic gel that you apply topically, or an oral antibiotic that you ingest. You may also be expected to use an antimicrobial mouthwash.

If these methods do not fully rid you of your periodontal condition, you may require surgery. The most common form of periodontal surgery is flap surgery. The surgeon will make an incision in your gums, clean out tartar hiding beneath, and then stitch the gums back closer to the teeth.

Learn more on periodontal disease or periodontitis treatment.

Sponsored Links


This author has published 6 articles so far. More info about the author is coming soon.