Dr. Robert Sorrentino, DMD
Quality Periodontics on Staten Island, NY
Learn About Gum Disease
Gum disease begins with a film called plaque accumulates on the teeth and calcium from saliva hardens the plaque – this calcified plaque is called tartar or calculus. Certain types of germs that live in this plaque and calculus damage gum tissue. Your body tries to fight this infection with an inflammatory attack, sending white blood cells to the area to destroy the bacteria. This inflammation causes the tissue to bleed easily when you brush or floss. This stage of the condition is called gingivitis.
If the infection and inflammation persist, the result is a chronic inflammatory condition where the gums, ligament and bone around the teeth are destroyed – often with no sympotoms. This stage is called periodontitis.
Signs and Symptoms of Moderate to Advanced Gum Disease include:
- Gums that are red, swollen, and bleed easily
- Gums that seem to have pulled away from the teeth
- Bad breath or halitosis
- Pus between your teeth and gums
- Teeth that seem to be loose or moving away from one another
- A change in the way your teeth fit together when you bite
- Change in the way your partial denture or implant-supported restorations fit
- Sometimes, no symptoms at all.
What are the Risk Factors for Gum Disease?
Well-known risk factors for periodontitis include genetics, stress, avoiding the dentist, not brushing or flossing and some medical conditions. Smokers are significantly more likely to develop gum disease than non-smokers.
It’s not just about your teeth anymore – gum disease has been linked to numerous health problems, with new studies emerging all the time linking oral and overall health.