Symptoms and Causes of Periodontal Disease

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Apart from tooth decay, periodontal (gum) disease is one of the biggest threats to oral health. Periodontal disease encompasses a group of conditions that affect the gums and the bone supporting and anchoring the teeth. These conditions are prevalent in adults. In fact, data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that 47.2 percent of adults age 30 and older suffer from some type of periodontal disease. Sadly, these conditions increase with age. Here’s what you need to know about the causes and symptoms of periodontal disease.

How Do You Know if You Have Periodontal Disease?



Many people don’t show any signs of periodontal disease until they’re already in their 30s or 40s. The condition generally develops when plaque builds up along and under your gumline. Here are the warning signs of periodontal disease:


  • Loose teeth

  • Bleeding gums

  • Sensitive teeth

  • Pain when chewing

  • Foul taste in your mouth

  • Red, tender, or swollen gums

  • Bad breath that doesn’t go away

  • Receding gums or longer-appearing teeth

  • Any change in the fit of partial dentures or the way your teeth fit together when you bite


Several factors can increase your risk of periodontal disease. These include poor oral hygiene, smoking, and stress. Crooked teeth, heredity, hormonal changes, and certain illnesses like diabetes can also make you more susceptible.



What Causes Periodontal Disease?



Your mouth is teeming with bacteria. More than 70 different types of microorganisms collect all over your mouth. Most of them occur naturally and cause you no harm. But there are forms of bacteria that cause tooth decay and periodontal disease. These microbes, along with mucus and other food debris, constantly form a sticky, colorless biofilm on your teeth. Known as dental plaque, this biofilm comes from the food you eat and regularly covers your teeth. Proper and regular brushing and flossing significantly help in getting rid of this coating. But plaque that’s not removed can grow and thrive.


Over time, it builds up on your teeth and turns into tartar or calculus, which is challenging to eliminate. Only professional teeth cleaning by your dentist or dental hygienist can get rid of tartar. The accumulation of plaque and tartar can result in an increased risk of dental problems. These include tooth decay and periodontal disease.



How Is Periodontal Disease Treated?



The number and kinds of treatment generally vary, depending on how severe your periodontal disease is. But the primary goal of your treatment plan is to control the infection. Deep cleaning and prescription medications are standard solutions. If the initial intervention doesn’t treat the inflammation or deep pockets, surgical treatments may be necessary. Any type of treatment will require you to keep up good oral hygiene every day. Your doctor may also recommend some lifestyle changes to improve the outcome of your treatment.



Do you suspect that you may have some form of periodontal disease? Schedule your consultation today with our dental experts at Today’s Family Dental in Tampa, Florida.



Learn more about symptoms & causes of periodontal disease, contact Today’s Family Dental in Tampa, FL at (813) 370-1700 to book an appointment.