Hardened tartar at the gum line is the leading cause of periodontal disease. The American Dental Association estimates that nearly half of the population over the age of 30 has some form of periodontal disease. There are two distinct stages to periodontal disease. Each has distinct symptoms and complications.
Periodontal disease starts out as gingivitis. This happens when hardened tartar at the gum line can cause the gums to appear red or inflamed. This often leads to minor bleeding in the gums from simple brushing and flossing. Gingivitis is often accompanied by issues with chronic halitosis, otherwise known as bad breath.
Without timely treatment and improvements in your oral hygiene routine, gingivitis can develop into periodontitis. This level of infection and inflammation commonly causes the gums to slowly recede from the base of the teeth. When this happens, pockets of infection can form deep inside the gums.
In time the infection can compromise the roots of the teeth and lead to other complications, including the loss of bone structure in your jaw.
Continuing research has also found a relationship between periodontal disease and other medical conditions like diabetes, heart disease, and stroke. While periodontitis does not cause these conditions, it can complicate or limit treatment options.
If you are concerned that you might be developing periodontal disease, you should contact Dr. David E. Pearson’s office in Lawrenceville, Georgia, at 770.995.9051 to explore your treatment options.