Periodontitis – Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis, And Treatment
What is periodontitis?
Periodontitis is a serious infection and inflammation of the gums. This infection damages soft tissue and destroys the ligaments and bones that support the teeth. It is one of the most common diseases and is the primary cause of tooth loss in adults.
What causes periodontitis?
Periodontitis is most commonly caused by poor oral hygiene. Untreated inflammation or infection of the gums (gingivitis) also causes this condition. If not treated, gum Infection spreads from the gums to the ligaments and bone that support the teeth and causes periodontitis.
What are the possible complications of periodontitis?
The following complications possibly may occur due to periodontitis:
- Infection or abscess of the soft tissue
- Infection of the jaw bones
- Return of periodontitis
- Tooth abscess
- Tooth loss
- Tooth flaring (sticking out) or shifting
- Trench mouth
What are the symptoms of periodontitis?
Early symptoms of periodontitis are similar to gingivitis. The following are the common symptoms of periodontitis:
- Swollen gums
- Bad breath
- Bright red gums
- Reddish-purple gums
- Shiny gums
- Receding gums
- Gum bleeding
- Gum tenderness
- Loose teeth
- Swollen gums
How is periodontitis diagnosed?
Your dentist will perform a close examination of your mouth and teeth. The dentist may suspect periodontitis if he/she finds soft, swollen, and reddish-purple gums. He/she may find plaque and tartar at the base of your teeth, and the pockets in your gums may be enlarged. The finding may also include loose teeth and exposed base of your teeth.
Dental x-rays may show loss of supporting bone and plaque deposits under your gums.
How is periodontitis treated?
The goal of treatment would be to control infection, reduce inflammation, remove pockets in the gums, and treat any underlying causes of gum disease. The dentist may repair rough surfaces of teeth or dental appliances.
The dentist may perform surgery to open and clean deep pockets in your gums, build support for loose teeth, and to remove a tooth or teeth to prevent spreading of infection to nearby teeth.
The dentist may recommend professional teeth cleaning every 3 months to prevent recurring infections.
This feature is for informational purposes only and is not intended to substitute the expert guidance of a doctor. We advise seeing a doctor if you have any health concerns.