Stages of Gum Disease
WHAT IS PERIODONTITIS AND HOW CAN IT LEAD TO TOOTH LOSS?
Periodontitis (or periodontal disease) is a bacterial infection of the specialised tissues, ligaments and bones that surround and support your teeth, collectively known as the periodontium.
Periodontitis is the final destination on the journey of gum disease. Unlike gingivitis, it cannot be reversed and often has serious, long lasting consequences for how your teeth and gums look and feel. It may lead to the permanent loss of teeth. For this reason, it is extremely important that you do not let things get this far, and become aware of the periodontitis symptoms. Periodontitis treatment requires medical or dental attention.
WHAT CAUSES PERIODONTITIS?
Periodontitis can occur when gingivitis is left untreated. It is caused by plaque bacteria build-up above and below the gum line (the area where the gum meets the tooth). This can lead to the bone and tissues that support your teeth becoming irreversibly damaged.
This tissue damage may lead to your gums separating from your teeth, creating tiny spaces or ‘pockets’ where more plaque can grow and infections occur. As the condition continues to worsen the bone starts to erode. If left untreated, this can eventually result in loose teeth that either fall out or must be removed by a dentist.
Symptoms of periodontitis can include:
- bad breath
- an unpleasant taste in your mouth
- loose teeth
- gum abscesses