Periodontal disease is a damaging and unpleasant oral disease that attacks the gums and bone within the jaw. Periodontal disease is caused by a buildup of plaque. Plaque is a mixture of food, bacteria, and saliva that naturally forms in the mouth. If plaque stays in the mouth for too long, it can become tartar. When tartar forms, periodontal disease is likely to follow.

To identify periodontal disease, check your mouth for loose teeth, new spacing between teeth, constant foul breath, pus in the teeth and gums, receding, bleeding, red, or swollen gums, or discomfort or sensitivity. Loose teeth and spacing are caused by bone loss, bad breath can be caused by bacteria, pus can be a sign of infection, receding gums are an effect of gum loss, and discomfort is caused by irritation from plaque. All of these symptoms can be caused by periodontal disease. Healthy gums should never bleed, swell, or turn red. This is almost always a sign of something wrong with dental hygiene.

Periodontal disease is the number one cause of tooth loss and can possibly lead to even more serious diseases, such as stroke, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease. Four out of five people have periodontal disease and are not aware of it. The early stages are usually painless and the signs often go unnoticed. Visit a dentist if you think you suspect you are experiencing any symptoms of periodontal disease.

With good oral hygiene, a healthy diet, and regular visits to the dentist can significantly reduce the risk of periodontal disease. Refraining from smoking can also help prevent developing periodontal disease.