Gum disease, which is also known as periodontal disease, attacks the tissues and bones that surround and support the teeth. You may not realize that you have gum disease, as it is usually painless. This disease can cause tooth loss in adults if left untreated. Contact your dentist if you have any of the following signs of gum disease:
• Gums that bleed
• Red, swollen, and sore gums
• Gums that are receding
• Bad breath or a bad taste that will not go away
• Loose or shifting permanent teeth
• A change in the way your teeth fit together
• Pus coming from the gums
This disease is caused by the growth of bacteria and plaque on the teeth, above and beneath the gums. The bacteria in plaque feeds on sugars in the foods and beverages you consume, causing toxins. These toxins irritate the gums, which causes them to swell and bleed easily. As time passes, plaque can harden, becoming tartar. This irritates the gums further and causes them to pull away from the teeth. At this point, the disease can spread below the gums and damage the tissues and bone that support the teeth. This causes the teeth to loosen and shift.
If you have gum disease, your dentist will provide extra dental cleanings. If this is not sufficient, a deep cleaning procedure called scaling and root planing will be performed. Gum disease is easily treated in its early stages. Contact your dentist today to begin your journey to healthy gums!