How does periodontal disease affect my teeth and gums?

Jonathan B. Levine, DMD
Periodontal disease has varying degrees and forms, and one form is commonly known as gingivitis. Overall, periodontal disease includes the infection and inflammation that commonly destroys the tissues that support the teeth, mainly your gums, periodontal ligaments, and tooth sockets. If you allow gingivitis to go untreated, it can lead to a deeper degree of periodontal disease and you can even end up losing your teeth.
During the early stage of gum disease known as gingivitis, the gums become red and swollen and may bleed easily. There is usually little or no discomfort. Gingivitis can be reversed with treatment in the dental office and good oral care at home.

Untreated periodontal disease can lead to periodontitis, the destruction of the tissues that anchor teeth in the bone. As the disease progresses, pockets form and allow more plaque to collect below the gum line. Tooth roots are exposed and may become at risk for decay and are sensitive to cold and touch. In advanced periodontitis, the teeth lose more support as the disease continues to destroy the periodontal ligament and bone. Unless treated, the affected teeth frequently become loose and may fall out or require removal by a dentist.
Hyun J. Song, DDS

Periodontal disease is a chronic condition which affects the foundation of your oral health. If untreated, bone loss can become severe and inflammation cannot be controlled. Once the foundation (bone) has eroded away, pockets will develop. Severe pocketing around the teeth can lead to teeth loss eventually.

Periodontal disease is an inflammatory disease of the supporting structure of the tooth. Untreated, the inflammation will lead to the resorption of supporting bone leading eventually to the loss of the tooth or the teeth.

On the other hand, once the treatment is done, the regular cleaning or what we call periodontal maintenance will preserve and stabilize the weakened environment created by the disease. The regular maintenance is very important because not only it will stabilize and minimize the progression of the disease, it will prevent also root caries from happening since the roots are exposed to the oral environment and are not made to fight cavities.
I call periodontal disease "dentistry's sniper." It is usually painless and gives you little warning that you have it before the tooth is lost.

Bleeding, puffy gums are the signs that most patients might recognize...but many times that goes ignored.

If caught in the early stages, it is usually reversible. If left alone, it can progress to the point where you lose your teeth.
Periodontal disease affects the teeth and gums. It can cause the gums to swell and become infected. It can also cause the gums to recede. Periodontal disease destroys the bone surrounding the teeth. This destruction of bone can lead to loose teeth or the loss of teeth. Periodontal disease can be treated. See your dentist if you think you have periodontal disease.
Carol Jahn
Periodontal disease is a leading cause of tooth loss in adults. Bacteria in dental plaque causes an infection that irritates the gum tissue around the tooth. At the early stages, called gingivitis, it is reversible. As it progresses, the tissue becomes chronically inflamed and this process can destroy the soft tissue and bone, which hold the tooth in place. If too much bone is lost, then there is little to hold the tooth in place, and it may need to be removed.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.