What is periodontal disease? The word periodontal refers to the tissue that surrounds and supports the teeth. Infections or diseased tissue may be localized (around one or two teeth) or more generalized throughout the mouth. The first level of periodontal involvement is a condition called “Gingivitis’> This is usually (but not always) painless with visible signs of some bleeding and inflammation of the tissue. Left untreated, this can progress to a more serious condition known as periodontal disease. In periodontal disease, the gums become significantly red and inflamed, the gums bleed and the gums separate from the teeth forming large gaps or pockets. These pockets if not treated, become infected, sometimes oozing a discharge, often causing pain and bad breath. Left untreated, this leads to the bacteria destroying the bone structure that supports the teeth resulting in loss of teeth.
If the position of the teeth change when you put your teeth together or if you have loose teeth or your partial dentures do not fit well, this may be a sign of periodontal involvement. A dental professional should be consulted.