Periodontitis: Symptoms, Causes, & Treatment

Periodontitis occurs when inflammation or infection of the gums (gingivitis) is untreated. It is the primary cause of tooth loss in adults.

Any type of periodontal disease treatment requires good daily care at home, in conjunction with a dental practitioner.

Periodontitis Symptoms

In addition to the signs and symptoms of gingivitis, periodontal disease symptoms include:

  • A bad taste in your mouth and persistent bad breath
  • Gums that pull away from the teeth or receding gums
  • Loose teeth or a change in the way your teeth feel when you bite or chew
  • Sore or tender gums
  • Pus around the gumline

Periodontitis Causes

Left untreated, gingivitis can progress to periodontitis. With gingivitis the bacteria from plaque causes gum inflammation, which leads to infection.

With periodontal disease, in addition to the inflammation, bacterial toxins and the body’s natural response to infection start to break down the bone and connective tissue that hold teeth in place.

Damage to the bones, gums, and tissue that support the teeth can lead to tooth loss.

Treating Periodontitis

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Treatment of periodontal disease and periodontitis depends on the extent of the disease. It can involve a combination of special dental cleaning procedures, medications, and surgery. Your dentist or periodontist can best diagnose your status and prepare a treatment plan for your specific needs.