Periodontal Disease

Rock River Oral Surgery & Dental Implant Center

What is Periodontal Disease?

Gum Disease

Periodontal diseases are mainly the result of infections and inflammation of neglected gums and bone that surround and support the teeth. In its early stage, known as gingivitis, the gums can become swollen and red, and they may bleed.

In its more serious form, called periodontitis, the gums can pull away from the tooth, bone can be lost, and the teeth may loosen or even fall out. Periodontal disease is mostly seen in adults. Periodontal disease and tooth decay are the two biggest threats to dental health.

What Causes Periodontal Disease?

When someone neglects to brush, floss and/or see their dentist regularly for their cleanings, bacteria in the mouth starts to infect the tissue surrounding the tooth, causing inflammation around the tooth leading to periodontal disease.

When the bacteria stays on the teeth long enough, they form a film called plaque, which eventually hardens to tartar, also called calculus. This tartar build-up can spread below the gum line, which makes the teeth harder to clean. Then, only a dental health professional can remove the tartar and stop the periodontal disease process.

Warning signs of periodontal disease

If you're experiencing any of these symptoms, it's advised to contact your dentist. According to the CDC, here are the warning signs of periodontal disease:

  • Bad breath or bad taste that won’t go away

  • Red or swollen gums

  • Tender or bleeding gums

  • Painful chewing

  • Loose teeth

  • Sensitive teeth

  • Gums that have pulled away from your teeth

  • Any change in the way your teeth fit together when you bite

  • Any change in the fit of partial dentures

Who Is At Risk Of Getting Periodontal Disease?

A recent CDC report provides the following data related to prevalence of periodontitis in the U.S.:

  • 47.2% of adults aged 30 years and older have some form of periodontal disease.
  • Periodontal disease increases with age, 70.1% of adults 65 years and older have periodontal disease.

This condition is more common in men than women (56.4% vs 38.4%), those living below the federal poverty level (65.4%), those with less than a high school education (66.9%), and current smokers (64.2%)

Increased risk factors

Certain factors increase the risk for periodontal disease such as:

  • Smoking

  • Diabetes

  • Poor oral hygine

  • Stress

  • Heredity

  • Crooked teeth

  • Immune system deficiencies e.g., AIDS

  • Fillings that have become defective

  • Medications that cause dry mouth

  • Bridges that no longer fit properly

  • Female hormonal changes, such as with pregnancy or oral contraceptives

How to Prevent Periodontal Disease?

Preventing periodontal disease starts with preventing its early stage: Gingivitis.

Gingivitis can be controlled with proper oral hygiene habits and regular professional dental cleanings. More severe forms of periodontal disease can also be treated successfully but may require more extensive treatment. Such treatment might include deep cleaning of the tooth root surfaces below the gums, medications prescribed to take by mouth or placed directly under the gums, and sometimes corrective surgery.

  • Brush and floss daily: Brushing and flossing every day helps remove the bacteria that causes gingivitis

  • Dental cleanings: Getting a professional dental cleaning and checkup helps spot any signs of emerging periodontal disease

  • Stay healthy: Eating healthy foods and exercising will help you keep stress down and can help prevent other health issues such as diabetes

  • Don't smoke: Smoking causes a number or health issues beyond gum disease, one of the best things you can do for your overall health is to quit smoking

Have Further Questions?

At Rock River Oral Surgery & Dental Implant Center we're all about helping you feel great about your smile!
Don't hesitate to ask us anything.

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Contact Info

Rockford Office  (815) 399-1234
Beloit Office  (608) 473-3992


  • Rockford, IL

    973 Featherstone Rd #102, Rockford, IL 61107

  • Beloit, WI

    2359 Murphy Woods Rd Beloit, WI 53511

Disclaimer: This website is provided for informational purposes only. No doctor-patient relationship is established through the use of this website. This website is not a substitute for examination or consultation with an oral and maxillofacial surgeon and as such, no diagnosis or treatment recommendations can be provided.

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