What is Gum Disease and How Does It Affect You?
Periodontal disease, often known as gum disease, can range from minor inflammation of the gums to severe disease symptoms resulting in significant damage to the soft tissue and bone that support your teeth. Gum disease normally does not manifest itself until people are in their 30s or 40s. Gum disease is more common in men than in women. Although periodontal disease is uncommon in youth, gingivitis, a milder form of gum disease, can occur.
The following are some of the warning symptoms:
Breath that refuses to go away
Gums that are red or swollen
Gums that are tender or bleeding
Chewing pain, loosened teeth, and sensitive teeth
Gums receding or teeth that seem longer
Gum Disease Causes
Gum disease is most commonly caused by a buildup of plaque along and behind the gum line. What causes this to happen? Bacteria abound in our mouths. On teeth, these bacteria, combined with mucus and other particles, form a sticky, white plaque. Plaque can be removed by brushing and flossing. If plaque is not removed, it can harden and turn into tartar.
Gingivitis: The longer plaque and tartar remain on teeth, the more likely bacteria may cause gum inflammation. Gingivitis causes the gums to become red, inflamed, and easily bleed. Gingivitis is a moderate form of gum disease that can usually be treated with daily brushing and flossing as well as frequent dental cleanings.
When gingivitis is left untreated, it can progress to periodontitis. Periodontitis causes the gums to peel away from the teeth, creating infected gaps. As plaque spreads and grows below the gum line, the body’s immune system attacks the bacteria. Bacterial toxins and the body’s natural infection reaction begin to damage away the bone and connective tissue that hold teeth in place. The bones, gums, and tissue that support the teeth are damaged if not treated. The teeth may become loose over time and need to be extracted as a result.