|Gingivitis & Periodontitis
|Gum disease is the process that begins when bacterial growth in your mouth begins to lead to the erosion of your teeth and gums. When left untreated, long-term effects include extensive gum deterioration, along with early tooth loss.
There are two stages in gum disease of which include: gingivitis (gum inflammation) followed by periodontitis (gum disease) which involves the bone that supports the teeth. Within the stages of gingivitis, the bacteria in plaque build up causing the gums to become irritated and swell. When brushing your gums, it may appear red or may bleed easily
If left untreated, gingivitis can progress into periodontitis. During this process, the gums begin to pull away or swell from the tooth creating pockets where bacteria can collect and spread. Toxins produced by the bacteria begin to eat at the bone and tissue that anchor your tooth. As the process continues, the disrease spreads and more gum tissue and bone are damaged. When this happens, teeth are no longer anchored in place, thus resulting in permanent tooth loss.
While tartar buildup is the leading cause of gum disease, there are additional contributing factors. Some of these include: illnesses that affect the immune system (HIV, diabetes), poor lifestyle habits such as smoking, a diet high in sugar, poor oral hygiene habits, or a family history of periodontal disease.
Some symptoms of gum disease include:
Gums that are susceptible to bleeding
Red, swollen, or tender gums
Persistent bad breath (halitosis)
Receding gum line
Loose or shifting teeth
Different stages of gum disease may be present in your mouth despite not having any symptoms. This is a reason why regular dental check ups are important in the prevention and treatment of gum disease. Only your dentist and hygienist will be able to recognize symptoms of gum disease.