Periodontal disease, commonly known as gum disease, is an infection of the tissues that hold your teeth in place. It is caused by the buildup of plaque, a sticky film of bacteria that forms on your teeth. When plaque is not removed by brushing and flossing, it can harden into tartar, which can only be removed by a dental professional. The longer plaque and tartar are left on your teeth, the more damage they can cause to the gums and supporting bone structure.

There are two main types of gum disease: gingivitis and periodontitis. Gingivitis is the milder form and is characterized by red, swollen gums that may bleed easily. At this stage, the disease is still reversible with good oral hygiene and professional treatment. However, if left untreated, gingivitis can progress to periodontitis. This more severe form involves the gums pulling away from the teeth, forming pockets that become infected. Over time, the body’s immune response to the infection breaks down the bone and connective tissue that holds teeth in place, potentially leading to tooth loss.

Recognizing the signs and symptoms of periodontal disease is crucial for early intervention. Common signs include:

  • Persistent bad breath
  • Red, swollen and tender gums
  • Bleeding gums
  • Painful chewing
  • Loose teeth
  • Increased tooth sensitivity
  • Gum recession
  • Teeth which appear longer than before

To help prevent periodontal disease, maintain a rigorous oral hygiene routine: brush your teeth at least twice a day, floss daily and visit our dentist regularly for checkups and cleanings. If you notice any signs of gum disease, please do not hesitate to seek professional advice. Early treatment can save your teeth and protect your overall oral health.

Taking care of your gums is just as important as taking care of your teeth. By staying informed and proactive, you can keep periodontal disease at bay and enjoy a healthy smile for years to come. Call State Street Dental at 208-939-1700 to learn more about our treatments for periodontal disease in Boise, Idaho, and make your appointment with Dr. Gregory Davis.