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:

  • Diabetes
  • Smoking
  • Stress
  • 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.