What is Periodontal (Gum) Disease?

Also referred to as gum disease, studies show periodontal disease may be affecting upwards of 50% of the world population. 

While periodontal disease is very prevalent, and most cases are caught early, damage can become irreversible, and more serious diseases can develop as a result of postponing treatment.

Our team at Chew Dental Group has seen and treated countless cases of periodontal disease in Fremont, CA, so let us use our expertise by helping you. We know there are a lot of questions surrounding periodontal disease, so we're here to break down what periodontal disease is, what the symptoms are, and the best treatment options. 

What Is Periodontal Disease?

Periodontal disease is a gum infection caused by a buildup of bacteria that comes in the form of plaque and tartar. If detected early, it’s nothing to worry about and can easily be treated in just one visit. Left untreated, bacteria will eat away soft tissue, teeth, and bone.

Left untreated, periodontal disease can cause serious health issues, such as pregnancy complications, respiratory disease, heart disease, and even diabetes. 

Types of Periodontal Disease 

If left untreated, gum disease can spread past the gums into your teeth and bones. This leads to eventual tooth loss in the severe stages of periodontal disease. 

Here are some of the most common types of periodontal disease:

  • Chronic periodontitis – Chronic inflammation of the gums due to periodontal disease causes the gums to recede. This is the most common form of gum disease and is characterized by the separation of the teeth from the gums.

  • Aggressive periodontitis – This type of gum disease is seen in overall healthy patients. It's identified by quick loss of gum attachment and even bone destruction.

  • Necrotizing periodontitis – This form of periodontal disease most often occurs in individuals suffering from systemic conditions such as HIV, immunosuppression and malnutrition.  Necrosis (tissue death) occurs in the periodontal ligament, alveolar bone and gingival tissues.

  • Periodontitis caused by systemic disease – This form of gum disease can start at an early age. There are common medical conditions that can cause this, such as respiratory disease, diabetes, and heart disease.  

Periodontal Disease Symptoms

Knowing the symptoms of periodontal disease allows early detection and treatment before it progresses. If any of the following symptoms are present, contact us immediately before significant damage occurs.

  • Swollen Gums

  • Gum Discoloration

  • Sore or Tender Gums

  • Gums Easily Bleeding (especially when brushing)

  • Bad Breath

  • Pus in Gums or Between Teeth

  • Loose Teeth or Tooth Loss

  • New Spaces Between Teeth

  • Receding Gums

  • Discomfort When Brushing

Is Periodontal Disease Contagious?

While the bacteria that causes periodontal disease can be passed from one person to another, the disease itself cannot. As long as proper oral care is maintained, there is no need to worry.

How To Treat Periodontal Disease

Treatment of periodontal disease differs based on progression severity:

  • Scaling and Root Planing: At the mildest level, plaque and tartar just need to be scraped from around the teeth and gums in a process called scaling and root planing. This can be done during your regular dental cleaning!  

  • Pocket Reduction Surgery: With stage two periodontal disease, a minor surgical procedure called pocket reduction surgery may be necessary. This involves making a small incision in the gums to clean out bacteria from the root of the tooth. 

  • Tissue & Bone Grafts: Severe levels of gum disease progression require tissue grafts and bone grafts. At these advanced stages of gum disease, you may have suffered from tooth loss. If any teeth were lost due to gum disease, it's recommended to replace them with dental implants or bridges to restore your natural smile and protect the rest of your teeth. 

Preventing Periodontal Disease

Despite periodontal disease being so common, it is fairly simple to prevent or detect by maintaining proper oral hygiene and scheduling regular dental appointments.

Maintain Proper Oral Hygiene

At a minimum, everyone should be brushing their teeth at least twice a day and flossing at least once. Doing so prevents an environment from forming in the mouth that promotes the growth and multiplication of bacteria that cause periodontal disease.

Schedule Regular Dental Appointments

We recommend scheduling regular dental cleanings every six to twelve months to maintain a healthy mouth and stay ahead of any potential problems such as periodontal disease.

Causes of Periodontal Disease

While gum disease is frequently caused by improper oral hygiene habits and not visiting the dentist for regular teeth cleanings, there are a few risk factors of gum disease that can contribute to the severity of gum disease you may have. 

These risk factors include:

  • Nicotine/Tobacco Use

  • Immunity Issues

  • Poor Dental Hygiene

  • Obesity

  • Inadequate Nutrition (Especially Vitamin C)

  • Xerostomia or Other Conditions Causing Dry Mouth

  • Diseases Such as Rheumatoid Arthritis, Crohn’s, or Diabetes

  • Hormonal Changes

If you have any of the risk factors above, we recommend more frequent visits to the dentist. This will help you catch issues of gum disease ahead of time, so the proper treatment route can be taken. 

Periodontal Disease Treatment in Fremont, CA 

If you have any symptoms of periodontal disease, or any associated risk factors, we recommend booking a visit to treat any potential early stages of periodontal disease. Contact us or make an appointment today!