Gum disease is an infection and inflammation of the gum tissues. The most common cause of gum disease is the buildup of tartar at the gum line. There are different stages and degrees of infection. The earliest stage of gum disease is known as gingivitis.
Early symptoms include red or inflamed gums that are prone to bleeding during brushing and flossing. Chronic bad breath is also not uncommon with people suffering from gingivitis.
Routine practice of an effective oral hygiene routine is the best defense against developing gingivitis. This includes brushing your teeth twice a day with abrasive toothpaste followed by flossing between your teeth and along the gum line.
Tartar at the gum line can be very hard to remove yourself. It usually requires the techniques and training of the dental professionals at your regular dental checkup and cleaning.
If gingivitis is allowed to progress it can advance into a more serious condition know as periodontitis. When this happens the gums start to recede from the teeth creating pockets that can harbor bacterial infection. The infection even has the potential to cause a loss of bone material in your jaw where your teeth are anchored.
There is even research that has found a relationship between the systemic inflammation of periodontitis and other medical conditions, including diabetes, heart disease, stroke and certain types of cancer. If though gum disease does not cause these conditions they seem to have a relationship to each other.
If you are concerned that you might be developing gum disease or you are overdue for your regular dental cleaning, please call us at 818-558-4332 to schedule an appointment.