What is Periodontal Disease?
Periodontal diseases are some of the infections of the structures that happen around the teeth. These involve the gums, the cementum that covers the root, the periodontal ligament and the alveolar bone.
In the initial stage of periodontal disease, gingivitis, the infection only affects the gums. In more severe forms of the disease, all of the supporting tissues are taken.
For many years, researchers have been trying to find out what causes periodontal disease. It is now well accepted that bacteria in dental plaque are the major villains. Scientists also are learning more about how an infection in your gums can further affect your overall health.
What Causes Periodontal Disease?
Periodontal disease is known to be caused by bacteria in dental plaque. Plaque is the sticky substance that forms on your teeth soon after you have brushed.
Damage from periodontal disease also can cause teeth to become loose. This can be a vital sign of severe periodontitis (the advanced stage of disease).
In a process of removing the bacteria, the cells of your immune system extract substances that inflame and damage the gums, periodontal ligament or alveolar bone. This further leads to swollen, bleeding gums, a sign of gingivitis.
Periodontal disease can be prevented by having good oral hygiene and visiting dentist regularly. Most people should see the dentist about once every six months. But if you already have gum disease you may need to visit more often.
Periodontal disease can rupture the periodontal ligament and the alveolar bone, the structures that support your teeth if left untreated.
Another reason to remove plaque promptly is that over time it becomes hardened or calcified and turns into calculus. This is commonly called tartar.
More plaque links to calculus as it is having a rougher surface than tooth enamel. It is also rougher than cementum, a layer that covers the tooth root.