What causes gum disease?
Gum disease is caused by plaque which is a layer of germs that builds up on your teeth daily, plaque irritates your gums causing them to bleed easily that is why its so important to brush your teeth both morning and night. Leaving plaque on your teeth for a long time causes the plaque to harden. The harder type of plaque is called tartar or calculus and can only be removed by a dental health professional. The longer calculus is left the more germs are constantly infecting your gums.
Types of gum disease
There are two types of gum disease: gingivitis and periodontitis.
Gingivitis is a mild form of gum disease that can be reversed by good mouth care. Gingivitis occurs when the gums become red and swollen, gums tend to bleed easily when they are being brushed and it can cause bad breath. If gingivitis is not treated it may cause a more severe form of gum disease called periodontitis.
Periodontitis causes the area of the gum closest to the tooth to become weak which then causes spaces to form between the tooth and the gum allowing germs to be trapped underneath the surface leading to even more swelling. Over time the bone supporting the teeth can be lost which causes your teeth to become loose and at worst case possibly fall out.
What are the symptoms of gum disease?
The symptoms of gum disease include:
- inflammation of the gums (redness and swelling)
- bleeding gums when you brush the teeth
- bad breath or a bad taste
- gums that are receding
- sensitive teeth
- loose teeth
You should see your dentist regularly for check-ups.
See your dentist as soon as possible if you have swollen or bleeding gums, or if your teeth feel loose.