What Is Periodontal Disease?
Periodontal (perry-o-DON-tal) disease is an infection in your gums that may cause them to bleed or become swollen and sore. It can lead to the loss of the bone that supports your teeth, which can cause tooth loss. Periodontal disease, also called gum disease, is common and can affect people at any age.
The mildest form of periodontal disease is called gingivitis (jin-ji-VY-tis). It makes gums red and swollen and they may bleed easily when you brush. The good news is that gingivitis can be reversed. Sometimes all it takes is better oral care at home and more professional cleanings.
The more advanced form of the disease is called periodontitis (perry-o-don-TIE-tis). It results in more swelling and redness in the gums. In advanced stages, it can also cause the tissue and bone that hold your teeth in place to break down.
You can have periodontal disease without pain or other symptoms. This is one of the reasons why it is important to visit the dentist regularly.
Regular dental visits allow your dentist to detect and treat problems in their early stages before they have a chance to get worse.