Periodontal (gum) disease is a condition that affects many adults. It can be relatively mild, a condition called gingivitis which is a reversible inflammation of the gums. It can also be a much more serious condition that results in damage to soft tissue and the bone around the teeth (periodontitis).
What Are The Symptoms Of Gum Disease?
Gum disease often doesn’t have any obvious symptoms like severe or constant pain. That is why it is important to check your mouth regularly for any slight changes such as bleeding or red gums, bad breath, and tenderness while chewing. If ever you experience any of these, be sure to visit your dentist immediately.
Why Is Gum Disease So Bad?
Periodontal disease, when advanced, can cause tooth loss.
Bacteria are a significant causative factor. Our mouth is full of many different kinds of bacteria, and some types accumulate to form a thin, sticky and invisible film that can be removed by brushing and flossing. Dentists refer to this bacterial film as “plaque.”
If plaque is not removed regularly, it can harden and cause a build-up that is known as tartar. Tartar can only be removed by having a professional clean by a dentist or hygienist. The longer plaque and tartar are in contact with your gums, the more likely you are to develop periodontal disease.
Aside from improper brushing and flossing, other risk factors to developing gum disease include:
- hormonal changes in women
- other illnesses, and
- when taking medications
It is best to visit your dentist if you think you have gum disease or are at risk of developing it. Early detection and treatment are key in order to prevent tooth loss.