Periodontitis: A Bacterial Mouth Infection
Bleeding gums, bad breath, loose teeth, all of these are signs of Periodontal disease. Periodontitis, an extremely common bacterial infection of the mouth, is a leading cause of tooth decay and the symptoms listed here. Even the mouth hygienic mouths are prone to infection, as diseases such as gingivitis can sit dormant between your teeth and gums, and sometimes even the bones of your jaw. Periodontal diseases such as this will, over time, erode your tooth enamel, destroy your gums, and eventually result in the loss of tooth and gum tissue.
Four out of five people have a periodontal disease and don’t even know it! Most people are not aware of this fact because most forms of periodontitis are painless in their early stages. This bacterial mouth infection attacks the gums and enamel of your mouth, and will initially manifest as red, swollen gums that may bleed when brushing or flossing. The disease affects four major parts of your mouth:
- Gum Tissue, or “Gingiva” (hence the term gingivitis, or infection of the gums)
- The roots of your teeth, or cementum
- The Alveolar Bone- the sockets in your jaw, where the teeth are rooted
- PDLs or periodontal ligaments, the connective fibers that hold your teeth in place
So how can you prevent bacterial mouth infection such as periodontitis? Daily brushing and flossing is important, and antiseptic mouthwash afterwards can help too. See your dentist on a regular basis for checkups and tooth cleaning; and even such things as a proper diet or avoiding smoking and drinking can help prevent future gingivitis or cure existing cases.