Have you ever experienced the sharp, throbbing pain of a toothache that just won’t quit? Or perhaps, you’ve felt a dull ache in your gums that persists even after brushing and flossing diligently? If so, you may be one of the millions of people worldwide who suffer from periodontitis, a common and often overlooked condition that can lead to serious dental problems if left untreated. Specifically, periodontal disease represents a slow and insidious death for the teeth, gradually “melting” away the bone tissue that holds the teeth firmly in place.

Periodontitis, specifically, is a pervasive oral health issue that affects millions of people worldwide, ranging from mild forms that can be treated easily to more severe cases that can result in tooth loss and require extensive medical intervention. Statistics show that severe periodontal disease affects 19% of the global population (1 billion people).  This makes it the sixth most common disease worldwide.

So what exactly is periodontitis, and how can you identify it before it’s too late? Join us as we take a deep dive into the dynamic world of periodontal disease, exploring its genesis, symptoms, and potential treatment options.

Phase 1: Gingivitis

Periodontitis and its precursor, gingivitis often go unnoticed until significant damage has already been done and in many cases – irreversible. Gingivitis is essentially inflammation of the gums, which in its turn is an effect of plaque buildup from inadequate oral hygiene. The bacteria in plaque produce toxins that can damage the gums and cause them to pull away from the teeth, forming pockets where more bacteria can accumulate. This vicious cycle leads to deepening of the pockets, and the gums starting to recede, exposing the roots of the teeth. This can cause sensitivity, pain, and eventually, tooth loss.

gingivitis bleeding gums

Gingivitis gum comparison (Source dentevim)

Periodontitis - periodontal pocket

Periodontal pocket and complications related to periodontitis (Source deardoctor.com)

Genetics and personal habits such as smoking and poor oral hygiene can also contribute to the development of gingivitis and periodontitis.

What can you do:

  1. Maintain excellent dental hygiene by following the 3 mandatory steps – flossing, brushing and rinsing with mouthwash.
  2. Turn to specialized dental care. There is a variety of products designed for irritated and bleeding gums.
    1. Flossing can be tricky since the gingivitis irritates the gums and makes them prone to bleeding thus flossing can be damaging for more severe cases and is not recommended if you notice pain of abnormal bleeding.
    2. Brushing. Nordics organic toothpaste for sensitive gums is an excellent suggestion. It contains bio extracts of aloe vera (calming), nettle and salvia (antibacterial), pomegranate (tightening action) in combination with zinc citrate that prevents plaque from sticking on the surface of the teeth. Also, it’s mandatory to use soft toothbrush in order not to further damage the swollen gums, still, you need to make sure you brush away the plaque diligently. Nordics ultra soft toothbrushes have 12,000 bristles that effectively but gently clean the surface of the tooth.
    3. Rinsing. Always use a mouthwash that contains some kind of antibacterial agent in order to create a synergy action with the toothpaste. Rinsing also helps wash away the particles pushed to the surface after flossing.
  3. Prophylaxis is crucial but if you notice one of the symptoms swelling, tenderness, bleeding, and persistent bad breath you need to visit your dentist.


Risks of leaving gingivitis untreated

Gum disease often goes undetected and, when untreated, can cause irreversible damage to soft tissue and bone. This leads to gum recession, jawbone deterioration and eventually to tooth loss.

Furthermore, studies link untreated gingivitis to a higher risk of cardiovascular disease, stroke, and diabetes. Poor oral health causes systemic inflammation and can lead to various health issues.


Progression to periodontitis

Periodontitis is a complex and mystifying process where certain types of bacteria cause damage to the gum tissue and bone structure supporting our teeth. As discussed it is usually preceded by gingivitis – the mild form of gum disease, that can progress to a more severe and damaging form.

Periodontitis begins with the accumulation of dental plaque, a biofilm composed of bacteria and extracellular matrix, on the teeth and gums. The bacteria in the plaque trigger the host’s immune response, leading to inflammation of the gingival tissue. The initial inflammatory response is characterized by increased blood flow and vascular permeability, which allows immune cells and proteins to infiltrate the affected tissue. In some individuals, the inflammatory response is not effectively resolved, resulting in persistent inflammation and destruction of the connective tissue and alveolar bone that support the teeth.

Early signs are often subtle, including bleeding gums, persistent bad breath, and slight discomfort while chewing. Without treatment, these symptoms worsen and more complications add up. Thus in the later stages of the disease, a person experiences bleeding and receding gums, deep pockets between the teeth and gums, loose teeth, changes in bite or tooth alignment, pus around the teeth and gums.

gum disease gingivitis and periodontitis

Source: 101stadultdentistry.com

In severe cases, a deep cleaning procedure called scaling and root planing may be necessary. A balance of oral bacteria is necessary to maintain healthy teeth and prevent gingivitis and periodontitis from gradually destroying your teeth.

The tricky thing here is that periodontitis often doesn’t cause significant pain or other symptoms until things have already progressed quite far. In other words, you could slowly lose your teeth without even realizing it.

Treatment of periodontitis

For Nordics, the Number 1 treatment for all diseases is prophylaxis. It is equally effective both for kids and for adults.

Great prophylaxis includes great care from the side of the patient and finding the right dental care products. Besides the well-known brushing routine mentioned above, it’s recommended to add an antimicrobial mouthwash to reduce the number of bacteria in the mouth and specialized interdental brushes, made for cleaning the in-between spaces of loose teeth due to periodontal progression.

But if you’ve gone over that phase there are some key facts that you need to know about periodontitis treatment.

It typically involves a combination of non-surgical and surgical procedures aimed at controlling the infection and restoring the health of the gums and supporting structures of the teeth.

The first group includes scaling and root planning which is a deep cleaning procedure that removes plaque and tartar buildup from the teeth and roots. It also includes antibiotic treatment to help control the bacterial infection.

Surgical treatments may prove very effective, especially in the long-term treatment of the disease and lead to significant relief in patients’ symptoms and preservation of teeth. Surgical procedures include flap surgery that removes tartar deposits in deep pockets beneath the gums and re-contours the gum tissue to reduce the depth of the pockets. Bone and tissue grafts are done to regenerate lost bone and tissue that support the teeth for future implants in the place of the missing tooth. Guided tissue regeneration is a procedure that involves placing a barrier membrane around the tooth to encourage the growth of new bone and tissue.

It is important to note that periodontitis is a chronic condition, and ongoing maintenance and follow-up care with a dental professional is necessary to manage the disease and prevent its progression. So, next time you’re tempted to skip flossing before bed, remember that it might not just be your teeth at stake.

Studies have shown that untreated gum inflammation can cause inflammation throughout the whole body, worsening conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis and inflammatory bowel disease. That’s why it’s crucial to promptly seek treatment for any gum inflammation.


Though this article and the pictures in it may indeed look shocking, there is no room for panic. Remember that both gingivitis and periodontitis are diseases that take many years to develop, thus there’s a lot we can do about it.

Regular brushing and flossing, coupled with frequent dental check-ups, are the cornerstone of pre-emptive dental care. Furthermore, we can 100% count on our dental expert for yearly detection through a comprehensive exam and removal of plaque and tartar.

Nonetheless, neglecting dental health is our personal responsibility and can lead to costly, serious conditions that require complicated procedures like root canals or dental implants.

In summary, if you notice bleeding gums, bad breath and irritated gums don’t ignore them. Rather, organize your dental care routine and rethink some harmful habits tobacco and alcohol, and excessive sugar intake.

It is incumbent upon us to take charge of our dental health, and not lose sight of the broader implications of poor dental hygiene. Nordics is there for you in the daily journey to better oral health.