All supporting structures of the teeth are called the periodontium. Periodontitis is an infection and chronic inflammation that gradually damages these structures.
Gum Diseases (Periodontics)
To prevent, detect and treat this infection, it is important to visit your dentist. Otherwise, a simple case of gingivitis (inflammation of the gums) could deteriorate into periodontitis, putting you at risk of losing your teeth.
Signs and Symptoms
- Swollen, red and bleeding gums;
- Food impaction (food wedged between the teeth);
- Receding gums (teeth appear longer);
- Mobility and movement;
- Bad breath (halitosis);
- Cold sensitivity;
- Bleeding after brushing;
- Suppuration (pus).
Certain factors may suggest that you run a greater risk of developing a periodontal disease:
- Family history of periodontitis;
- Low resistance to infections (e.g. diabetes);
- Very little or no tooth decay.
Periodontitis may lead to other health problems, such as cardiovascular and pancreatic diseases and premature births.
It is possible to graft gum tissue to correct gingival recession. Gum grafts are performed under local anesthesia. The possible causes of gingival recession are:
- Periodontal inflammation related to dental plaque;
- Inadequate brushing technique (horizontal brushing);
- Abnormal tooth position.
A gum graft is prescribed in cases of refractory dentin sensitivity, for esthetic reasons or to preserve the bone supporting the teeth.