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Periodontal disease- also known as gum disease- is an infection of the gums and the bone that support and surround your teeth. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention identify the following as signs of periodontal disease:
- Bad breath or chronic bad taste in your mouth
- Sore, swollen or red gums
- Bleeding gums
- Painful chewing
- Teeth that feel loose or sensitive
- Shifting Teeth
- Gum recession
- Changes in bit
Routine dental checkups are particularly important if you have any of these periodontal disease risk factors:
- You take medications that cause dry mouth
- Poor oral hygiene
- A family history of periodontal disease
There are three stages of periodontal disease and obviously, the sooner it is identified and treated, the better.
Stage 1 – Gingivitis
This stage only affects the gums by causing inflammation.
Stage 2 – Periodontitis
Untreated gingivitis leads to periodontitis, which is inflammation around the teeth. It also can cause gum recession and teeth to loosen.
Stage 3 – Advanced periodontitis
This most serious stage of periodontal disease destroys the bone that supports the teeth and causes teeth to fall out. This stage often requires surgical intervention.