Gum disease, also known as periodontal disease, is an infection of the gums surrounding your teeth. It is one of the top reasons for tooth loss in adults, and because it is virtually painless, many patients don’t even know they have the disease. During each regular checkup, your dentist will check for signs of periodontal disease by measuring the space between your teeth and gums.
What causes gum disease?
Gum disease is most commonly caused by plaque buildup. If plaque is not removed with flossing, brushing, and regular dental cleanings, it will continue to build up and create toxins that irritate and damage the gums. Periodontal disease forms just below the gum line and creates small pockets that separate the gums from the teeth. There are two stages of periodontal disease: gingivitis and periodontitis.
Certain factors can increase your risk of developing periodontal disease:
While it is possible to have periodontal disease and not know it, some symptoms can include:
Treating Gum Disease
Treatments for gum disease can vary depending on the severity and include:
Preventing Gum Disease
Regular dental checkups and periodontal examinations are important for maintaining your health and the health of your smile. Periodontal disease is completely preventable, and by practicing good oral hygiene at home, you can significantly reduce your chances of ever getting it. Remember to brush regularly, clean between your teeth, eat a balanced diet, and schedule regular dental visits to help keep your smile healthy.