What is gum disease?
Gum disease, otherwise known as gingivitis, is caused by plaque bacteria. When the plaque deposits form on tooth surfaces and remain there for long periods, they can cause irritation and infection in the gum margin. This infection causes the gums to weaken and bleed easily when you floss, brush your teeth or bite into hard foods. There is usually little or no pain; because of this many people ignore the early warning signs. A healthy gum should not bleed at all, much like any other part of your body.
If left untreated the infection, know as gingivitis, is likely to worsen. In severe cases it can cause the gums to recede and become so weak that they can no longer hold your teeth firmly in place. This is known as periodontitis. At this stage the condition is irreversible, and will eventually lead to tooth loss.
Once gums have receded they are unlikely to grow back, so it’s vitally important to look after them, especially if you are noticing any of the warning signs mentioned. By regularly removing plaque deposits through flossing, brushing, and regular trips to the dentist for a scale and polish, you can maintain healthy teeth and gums for life. What better reason for you to start taking an interest in the health of your gums from today!
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