The word periodontal means “around the tooth”. Periodontal disease attacks the
gums and the bone that support the teeth. Plaque is a sticky film of food debris, bacteria, and saliva.
If plaque is not removed, it turns into calculus (tartar). When plaque and calculus are not removed, they
begin to destroy the gums and bone. Periodontal disease is characterized by red, swollen, and bleeding
Four out of five people have periodontal disease and don’t know it! Most people are not
aware of it because the disease is usually painless in the early stages.
Not only is it the number one reason for tooth loss, research suggests that there may be
a link between periodontal disease and other diseases such as, stroke, bacterial pneumonia, diabetes, cardiovascular
disease, and increased risk during pregnancy. Researchers are determining if inflammation and bacteria
associated with periodontal disease affects these systemic diseases and conditions. Smoking also increases the
risk of periodontal disease.
Good oral hygiene, a balanced diet, and regular dental visits can help reduce your risk of
developing periodontal disease.
Signs and symptoms of periodontal disease:
Bleeding gums – Gums should never bleed, even when you brush
vigorously or use dental floss.
Loose teeth – Also caused by bone loss or weakened periodontal fibers
(fibers that support the tooth to the bone).
New spacing between teeth – Caused by bone loss.
Persistent bad breath – Caused by bacteria in the mouth.
Pus around the teeth and gums – Sign that there is an infection
Receding gums – Loss of gum around a tooth.
Red and puffy gums – Gums should never be red or swollen.
Tenderness or Discomfort – Plaque, calculus, and bacteria irritate
the gums and teeth.