Periodontal disease, or periodontitis, refers to bacterial infection of the gums in the mouth. Most commonly, periodontal gum disease is a result of poor oral hygiene. If untreated, the disease can progress to tooth loss or jaw bone loss, a condition that is accelerated in individuals with diabetes.
Gum disease symptoms include redness or bleeding of gums while brushing teeth or macerating hard foods; halitosis (bad breath); persistent metallic taste in the mouth; wobbly teeth (in advanced gum disease); and recession of the gums.
Treatment for periodontitis includes improved oral hygiene (regular brushing and flossing) or periodontal procedures (professional cleaning, gum disease surgery or medication for gum disease).
Techniques for gum disease prevention include proper brushing habits (two to three times a day for two minutes each session); daily flossing; regular dental or periodontist check-ups; balanced nutritional intake, particularly of Vitamin C; and the use of antiseptic mouthwash (a hydrogen perioxide based mouthwash combined with meticulous oral hygiene can cure gingivitis, but cannot, however, reverse gum disease related bone loss. Periodontitis and alcohol based mouthwash are not an advisable combination as alcohol aggravates bone loss due to periodontal disease.