Learn the Meanings of Common Dental Terminology

Archive for Periodontal Disease


An abscess is the body’s defensive system at work. Pus collects under the skin where a bacterial infection has started. An abscess wall is formed around the pus in an attempt to keep the pus from infecting healthy cells nearby. Usually caused by extensive periodontal disease.

Described as a sharp and or throbbing pain, pressure on the tooth may cause severe pain. Swelling can also appear at the base of the tooth, the gum and also the check. Applying cold packs might help, but you should see a dentist right away.

Left untreated an abscess can perforate bone and may spread infection by leaking pus in the throat and air passage causing suffocation. Run away infection can cause complications with other organs.


Dental plaque is a biofilm that adheres to the surface of teeth. Biofilms are an accumulation of microorganisms that also contain bacterial cells that can infect gum and bone tissues. Colonies of these microorganisms adhere and develop stronger bonds over time on the surface of the tooth. Plaque can cause periodontal disease and needs to be scraped off by a dentist at least once year or more.

Periodontal Disease

The two main categories of periodontal disease are gingivitis and periodontitis. In most cases gingivitis proceeds periodontitis. These type of diseases affect the periodontal tissues which are the tissues that support the teeth. Inflammation and infection break down destroying the gums which can cause teeth to fall out.

Brushing your teeth regularly will help keep you from getting periodontal disease, however, almost everyone has some stage of gingivitis.  Your gum tissue is subject to bacteria constantly. Some of this bacteria is collected into plaque which adheres to your teeth and can aggravate your gum tissue. Plaque is hard to get off with a tooth brush. That is why you need to have a dentist scrape of the plaque with special dental tools.

Severe periodontal disease can lead to other serious health problems such as heart disease, stroke and respiratory disease.