Gum disease is characterized by lasting inflammation of the gum tissue that can progress to destroy the supportive bone structure around the teeth. It is also called periodontal disease and is caused by the accumulation of dental plaque, a sticky film of bacteria that continuously forms on our teeth. If not removed regularly through brushing and flossing, plaque can harden into tartar (calculus), which provides an even greater refuge for bacterial growth and can contribute to further destruction of gum tissue and bone. The earliest stage you may encounter when it comes to gum disease is gingivitis. It is characterized by redness, swelling, and bleeding gums. Gingivitis can become periodontitis if left untreated, which destroys the gum tissue and the bone that supports your teeth. It is the very common cause of tooth loss, especially for adults.
Gum disease is usually caused by plaque, a sticky film of bacteria that constantly forms on our teeth. Plaque is usually composed of food debris, saliva, and millions of bacteria. The bacteria in plaque produce toxins which then damage the gums and bones around the teeth. Poor oral hygiene is the primary cause of gum disease. Brushing and flossing your teeth regularly can help prevent gum disease. Other causes include smoking, diabetes, certain medications, genetics, and a family history of gum disease. Gum disease, if caught early, can be treated with professional cleaning and improved at-home care. More advanced cases may require surgery to restore damaged tissue. However, it is preventable with good oral care habits. If you have gum disease, you must see a dentist or periodontist regularly. They will clean your teeth and gums and check for any further damage. Early detection and periodontal treatment can help prevent gum disease progression and improve oral health.