top of page

Protecting Your Smile: Understanding and Preventing Periodontitis

Periodontitis is a serious gum disease that affects millions of people worldwide.

It is caused by the buildup of plaque and tartar on teeth, which can lead to inflammation and infection in the gums.

If left untreated, periodontitis can cause tooth loss and other serious health problems.

In this article, we will explain what periodontitis is, its symptoms, causes, and risk factors, as well as how to prevent and treat it.

Illustration of a tooth infected with Periodontitis gum disease

What is Periodontitis?

Periodontitis is an advanced form of gum disease that affects the tissues and bones that support the teeth.

It starts with gingivitis, which is a milder form of gum disease characterized by red, swollen, and bleeding gums.

If gingivitis is not treated, it can progress to periodontitis, which can cause the gums to pull away from the teeth, creating pockets where bacteria can thrive.

Over time, the bacteria can destroy the supporting tissues and bones, leading to tooth loss.

Symptoms of Periodontitis:

The symptoms of periodontitis may not be noticeable in the early stages, but as the disease progresses, you may experience:

  • Red, swollen, or bleeding gums.

  • Bad breath or a bad taste in the mouth.

  • Loose or separated teeth.

  • Receding gums.

  • Pus between the teeth and gums.

  • Pain when biting or chewing.

Causes and Risk Factors of Periodontitis:

The main cause of periodontitis is the buildup of plaque and tartar on teeth, which can be caused by poor oral hygiene, poor nutrition, and certain medical conditions.

The following factors can also increase the risk of developing periodontitis:

  • Smoking or using tobacco products.

  • Poor diet and malnutrition.

  • Hormonal changes, such as during puberty, pregnancy, and menopause.

  • Certain medical conditions, such as diabetes and heart disease.

  • Certain medications, such as antidepressants and birth control pills.

  • Family history of gum disease.

Preventing and Treating Periodontitis:

The best way to prevent periodontitis is to practice good oral hygiene, such as brushing and flossing regularly, eating a healthy diet, and avoiding smoking and tobacco use.

It is also important to visit your dentist regularly for cleanings and check-ups.

If you have already been diagnosed with periodontitis, your dentist may recommend a deep cleaning, such as scaling and root planing, to remove plaque and tartar from the teeth and gums.

In severe cases, surgery may be necessary to treat the disease.

In addition, your dentist may prescribe antibiotics to help control the infection or recommend a special mouthwash to help reduce inflammation.


Periodontitis is a serious gum disease that can cause tooth loss and other health problems if left untreated.

By practicing good oral hygiene, visiting your dentist regularly, and following your dentist's recommendations for treatment, you can help prevent and treat this disease.

If you are experiencing symptoms of periodontitis, be sure to schedule an appointment with your dentist as soon as possible.

bottom of page