The periodontium is the specialized structure surrounding and supporting the tooth. Periodontitis is when these supporting structures have disease and inflammation. If this condition is left untreated, then periodontal disease may result in the loss of teeth.
The earliest stage of periodontitis is gingivitis. Gingivitis is the inflammation of the soft tissues surrounding your teeth and is characterized by irritation, redness, and swelling of gums. Bleeding gums are a major indicator of gingivitis. Gingivitis can be caused by poor oral hygiene, including the lack of brushing and flossing. Other causes of gingivitis can include medications, hormonal changes, trauma, stress and pregnancy.
If gingivitis is left untreated, it can progress to periodontitis. Periodontitis is more specifically the inflammation and subsequent loss of bone surrounding the tooth. The effects of periodontitis are usually not reversible, and can ultimately result in tooth loss. Oral malodor , moving and shifting teeth, receding gums and toothache are all signs of periodontitis. Periodontitis is not a disease that can be cured, but can maintained and stabilized with regular care from your dentist.