Gum disease is caused by the bacteria that's found in plaque, the sticky colorless fill that forms on teeth. If the plaque isn't properly removed by preforming oral cleaning habits, such as brushing and flossing, it will build up and the bacteria will infect not only your gums and teeth, but your gum tissue and bone that supports your teeth as well. There are three main phases of gum disease: gingivitis, periodontitis and advanced periodontitis.
- Gingivitis-The first stage of gum diseases is the most common and is referred to as gingivitis. Gingivitis is an inflammation of your gums that's caused by plaque buildup. If you're not keeping up with proper oral hygiene to remove the plaque, it produces toxins that irritate your gum tissue. Gingivitis is the only stage of gum disease that is reversible.
- Periodontitis- At this stage of gum disease your supporting bone and fibers that hold your teeth in place are irreversibly damaged. At this point you may start forming pockets below your gumline, which can trap food and plaque. With proper dental treatments and improved oral care, you can usually help prevent further damage.
- Advanced Periodontitis- In the final stage of gum disease, your fibers and bones supporting your teeth are destroyed, which can cause your teeth to move, loosen or even fall out. This will start to affect your bite. If treatment cannot save your teeth, they may need to be removed by your dentist.
By scheduling regular checkups and sticking to a proper oral hygiene routine you can prevent developing gum disease. If suspect that you have gum disease, contact