Periodontitis: Causes, Symptoms, Stages and Diagnosis 

Dr. Sarita Yadav

Medically reviewed by

Dr. Sarita Yadav

Dental Surgeon

5 min read


Periodontitis is a gum infection that can result in the permanent loss of your teeth. With proper periodontitis treatment and a healthy oral routine, you can combat all periodontal causes.

Key Takeaways

  • Periodontitis affects a lot of adults in India, as per a survey
  • Bacterial buildup on gums is one of the main periodontal causes
  • Proper oral hygiene is the best periodontitis treatment method

Periodontitis is a condition affecting your gums. So, if you think brushing and flossing are a tedious chore, they are a necessary part of oral hygiene. Periodontal disease happens due to bacterial accumulation on your gums and teeth. If periodontitis worsens, it can even affect the tissues and bones that frame your teeth. You may either lose your tooth, or your teeth may come away loose because of periodontitis.

All you need to do is take proper care of your oral health so that periodontal disease doesn’t damage your teeth. Regular dental visits and brushing your teeth twice a day can help in periodontal disease treatment. 

As per a study, the prevalence of periodontitis in India was high among the older population and low-income groups [1]. The fact that periodontitis affects a more significant number of Indian adults was also confirmed by other research [2]. This inflammatory gum disease can also result in other health issues if there is any delay in periodontal disease treatment.

While periodontitis takes place gradually over the years, it may lead to early loss of teeth in some young adults. Approximately 70% of adults lose their teeth due to periodontitis. To know more about periodontitis, periodontal causes, symptoms, and periodontitis treatment, read on.

Additional read: Uses and Health Benefits of ClovesPeriodontitis stages

Periodontal Causes 

One of the main periodontal causes is bacterial buildup in your gums. You may be familiar that the mouth contains healthy bacteria that are essential for proper oral hygiene. However, there are certain bacteria types that mix with mucus or other fluids. This results in the formation of plaque. Plaque is a thin film formed on your teeth, which you can reduce by brushing and flossing your teeth regularly.

In case you don’t follow proper oral hygiene measures, this plaque becomes tartar. When your tooth develops tartar, you may need to visit a dentist for a cleanup. Continued accumulation of tartar and plaque can inflame your gums. This can result in bleeding and swelling. When you ignore these conditions, it causes periodontitis. Poor oral hygiene is one of the main periodontal causes which can affect your teeth, gums, and bones supporting your teeth.

There are a few other periodontal causes that can increase your risk of this condition. Here are the risk factors you should not ignore to prevent periodontitis.  

  • Excessive smoking 
  • Deficiency of essential nutrients, especially vitamin C 
  • Weak immune system due to conditions like leukemia or HIV 
  • Obesity 
  • Type 2 diabetes 
Additional read: How to Quit Smoking and Boost ImmunityPeriodontitis

Periodontitis Symptoms 

Healthy gums will be pale pink in colour and hold your teeth firmly. Check out these warning periodontitis signs. 

  • The problem with chewing food 
  • The appearance of purple or red-coloured gums 
  • Smelly breath 
  • Tenderness in the gums 
  • Bleeding gums 
  • Loosening of teeth 
  • Pus formation between teeth and gums 
  • Changes in the position of your teeth 
  • Loss of teeth 
  • Extreme sensitivity in the teeth 
  • Gums bleed while flossing or brushing 
  • Severe pain in the gums

Periodontitis Diagnosis 

For the diagnosis of periodontitis, your dentist understands its symptoms by inquiring about your medical history. There may be a proper examination of your gums to check if there is any inflammation. A tiny ruler is used to measure your gum pockets. This ruler used in periodontitis diagnosis is called a probe. If the probe reaches deep inside the gums, it is a classic sign of periodontitis. In case of plaque buildup, your dentist can help clear it off. You may need to take an X-ray for the dentist to understand your teeth and jaw bone conditions if required.

Periodontitis Treatment 

Periodontal disease treatment mainly depends on the condition of your gums. Whatever the treatment plan, proper oral hygiene is an essential prerequisite for treating periodontitis. While you may require deep cleaning of gums in some cases of periodontitis, others may need surgery too.

When you undergo deep cleaning as a part of the periodontitis treatment, dentists use root planing and scaling methods. While scaling removes tartar from your gums, root planing eliminates all types of rough spots present on the roots of your teeth. This way, the harmful bacteria causing periodontitis are eliminated.

You may need to use an antibiotic gel or antimicrobial mouthwash to maintain good oral hygiene. In case of surgery is required for periodontitis, you may have to undergo grafting of your jaw tissue and bone. In the case of flap surgery, your dentist eliminates tartar from your gums by lifting them. The gums are later stitched back to the teeth. 

The most important part of the periodontitis treatment plan is regular dentist visits. This helps your dentist to assess the condition of your gums and check how you are responding to the treatment.

Follow these simple tips for maintaining healthy gums and teeth and preventing periodontitis.  

  • Make sure to brush twice a day 
  • Use fluoride toothpaste as it helps strengthen your gums and teeth 
  • Avoid chewing tobacco or smoking 
  • Floss your teeth daily 
  • Visit a dentist every six months for proper cleaning 

Now that you are aware of periodontal causes and symptoms make sure not to neglect periodontitis as it can result in permanent loss of your teeth. If you experience any bleeding in your gums, visit a dentist for a proper examination. Remember, prevention is better than cure. With timely medical intervention, you can minimize the symptoms of periodontitis.

For professional advice, reach out to top dentists and periodontists on Bajaj Finserv Health. Get a doctor consultation within minutes and start your periodontitis treatment without any delay. Meet a specialist of your choice close to your area and get rid of oral problems. You can also ask the doctor for suggestions for problems such as cracked teeth or sensitive teeth issues. Take proper care of your mouth for healthy gums and strong teeth!

Published on 5 Jul 2022Last updated on 4 Apr 2023

Please note that this article is solely meant for informational purposes and Bajaj Finserv Health Limited (“BFHL”) does not shoulder any responsibility of the views/advice/information expressed/given by the writer/reviewer/originator. This article should not be considered as a substitute for any medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always consult with your trusted physician/qualified healthcare professional to evaluate your medical condition. The above article has been reviewed by a qualified doctor and BFHL is not responsible for any damages for any information or services provided by any third party.

Dr. Sarita Yadav

Medically reviewed by

Dr. Sarita Yadav




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