The Progression of Untreated Periodontal Disease

17 Jul

Focusing on providing individualized care to patients at his Apopka, Florida private practice, Richard Petrilli, DMD, PA, makes patient education a top priority. One condition that Richard Petrilli, DMD, PA, is vigilant about helping patients prevent is periodontal disease.

Periodontal disease is the inflammation and eventual breakdown of the gums and other tissues that support the teeth. This condition begins with plaque, a sticky, bacteria-filled film that naturally coats the teeth and gums. The oral bacteria inflames the gums if not removed with regular brushing and flossing. This inflammation is the earliest form of periodontal disease called gingivitis, and it is reversible with good oral hygiene at home and regular, professional dental cleanings.

Plaque left on the teeth for too long will eventually harden and turn into tartar, which breaks the bond between the gums and teeth. Pockets then form along the gumline, where oral bacteria collect, infecting and eroding the gum tissues and eventually the underlying bone. This causes sores, bleeding gums, and bad breath in addition to loosening the teeth. Once periodontal pockets form, the patient has full-blown periodontal disease. The condition is chronic, but symptoms can be managed to halt the progression of the disease and prevent tooth loss.

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