Periodontitis can cause tooth loss. The bacteria responsible for periodontitis can enter your bloodstream through gum tissue, possibly affecting other parts of your body. For example, periodontitis is linked with respiratory disease, rheumatoid arthritis, coronary artery disease and problems controlling blood sugar in diabetes.
- recurrent gum abbases (painful collections of pus)
- increasing damage to the periodontal ligament (the tissue that connects the tooth to the socket)
- increasing damage to and loss of the alveolar bone (the bone in the jaw that contains the sockets of the teeth)
- receding gums
- loose teeth
- loss of teeth
Acute necrotising ulcerative gingivitis
If you have acute necrotising ulcerative gingivitis (ANUG) and it’s not treated, it can cause more severe complications.
The infection can spread to all areas of your gums and the alveolar bone surrounding your teeth.
This can lead to:
- the gums between your teeth being completely destroyed
- large ulcers (open sores) leaving permanent holes in your gums
- loose and unstable teeth
If ANUG is not properly treated the first time you have it, you’re more likely to have recurring cases in the future.
This can cause persistent bad breath (halitosis) and bleeding gums, as well as gradually receding gums.
In rare cases, ANUG can lead to gangern affecting the lips and cheeks. This occurs when tissue starts to die and waste away.
If you develop gangrene, you may need to have the dead tissue removed.
Gum disease has also been associated with an increased risk for a number of other health conditions, including:
lung infections and having a baby with a low birth weight if you’re affected during pregnancy
But while people with gum disease may have an increased risk of these problems, there’s not currently any clear evidence that gum disease directly causes them.
The best way to prevent periodontitis is to follow a program of good oral hygiene, one that you begin early and practice consistently throughout life.
- Good oral hygiene. That means brushing your teeth for two minutes at least twice daily — in the morning and before going to bed — and flossing at least once a day. Flossing before you brush allows you to clean away the loosened food particles and bacteria. Good oral hygiene prevents the development of an environment around your teeth that is favorable to specific bacteria that cause periodontal disease.
- Regular dental visits. See your dentist or dental hygienist regularly for cleanings, usually every six to 12 months. If you have risk factors that increase your chance of developing periodontitis — such as having dry mouth, taking certain medications or smoking — you may need professional cleaning more often