Periodontal Disease 101: Everything You Need to Know

According to the University of Florida’s College of Dentistry, nearly 75% of Americans suffer from some form of gum disease but don’t even know about it. 

Medically called periodontal disease, the condition is linked with cardiovascular problems, oral cancer, respiratory ailments, and diabetes. 

Let’s take a look at what periodontal disease is, its types, symptoms, and causes.

What Is Periodontal Disease?

The National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research defines periodontal disease as an infection of the soft tissue that holds your teeth in place. 

There are two common types of periodontal disease.


Gingivitis is the mildest form of gum disease, which causes your gingiva (gums) to turn red, swell, or bleed easily. When left untreated, the condition can lead to tooth loss and other severe health conditions.


Periodontitis is the untreated and advanced version of gingivitis. When you have periodontitis, your gums become weak, painful, inflamed, and your teeth risk falling out.

What Are the Symptoms of Periodontal Disease?

Here are the most common symptoms that can help you spot the onset of periodontal disease:

  • Bleeding gums
  • Gums that feel tender to touch
  • Pus formation between your teeth and gums
  • Pain when chewing
  • Bad breath
  • Sensitive teeth
  • Receding gums

What Causes Periodontal Disease?

Periodontal disease is caused by poor oral hygiene habits. 

Our body is filled with billions of bacteria, which come into contact with the food and drink we eat and form plaque. 

Plaque is a sticky substance that coats the surface of your teeth. As the plaque builds, it releases acid that destroys the tooth enamel and damages the structure of the teeth and the gums.

How Can You Be Safe from Periodontal Disease?

Protecting your teeth from periodontal disease is quite simple. You need to: 

  • Brush your teeth twice a day
  • Floss at least once a day
  • Use an antibacterial mouthwash
  • Minimize the consumption of sugary foods and beverages
  • Reduce smoking
  • Visit a dentist regularly

Gum disease can lead to severe consequences in the long run. However, you can easily prevent your teeth and gums from sustaining irreversible damage when you spot the signs early, develop healthy oral habits, and receive the necessary treatment.

Schedule a consultation at AV Dental for a complete oral examination and protect your precious smile from severe dental issues like gum disease.