If you have annual dental checks ups, periodontal disease can be discovered during a periodontal examination. A periodontal exam probes between the tooth and the gums to determine the depths of the pockets fo the gums. The depth can indicate the exists of periodontal disease along with the amount of bleeding, inflammation and tooth mobility.
Gingivitis is the first stage of periodontal disease. Plaque and its toxin by-products irritate the gums, making them tender, inflamed, and likely to bleed.
Plaque hardens into calculus (tartar). As calculus and plaque continue to build up, the gums begin to recede from the teeth. Deeper pockets form between the gums and teeth and become filled with bacteria and pus. The gums become very irritated, inflamed, and bleed easily.
Slight to moderate bone loss may be present.
The teeth lose more support as the gums, bone, and periodontal ligament continues to be destroyed.
Unless treated, the affected teeth will become very loose and may be lost. Generalized moderate to severe bone loss may be present.