Gum disease (also known as periodontal disease) is one of the leading causes of tooth loss among adults. Gum disease can be easily treated if it is diagnosed in the early stages. It is important to notify your dentist if you have any of these following warning signs of gum disease:
- Your gums bleed easily.
- Your gums are very red, tender and / or swollen.
- You can see pus in between your teeth and gums when they are pressed.
- Your gums seem to be pulling away from your teeth.
- You have chronic bad breath or a bad taste in your mouth.
- You notice a change in your bite or in the way your teeth fit together.
- Your teeth are loose or they are separating.
- The fit of your partials or dentures have changed.
Gum disease is caused by plaque remaining around the gumlines of the teeth. The bacteria in plaque produces acids and other toxins that can destroy bone and gum tissue over a period of time.
Brushing twice a day is not enough to remove plaque from in between the teeth, so it is very important to floss your teeth daily. If plaque is not removed, it will harden into a thick deposit called tartar. If tartar is allowed to remain on the teeth and below the gumline, it can lead to chronic infection and inflammation. The only way to remove tartar is to have your teeth professionally cleaned at your dental office.