Gum (Periodontal) Disease
Periodontal disease is an infection of the supporting tissues and bones surrounding the tooth. It is known as gingivitis in its early stages which is a reversible condition. At this stage plaque develops around the tooth and gum line and begins to attack the gum and soft tissues. Gums appear red, puffy and inflamed and bleed when you brush or floss. Sometimes however, gingivitis can go unnoticed and only detected when it escalates to periodontitis which is harder to reverse, and is the number one cause of tooth loss in older adults.
At this stage of periodontitis, the bacteria attacking the gums delves deeper and also attacks the supporting ligaments and bone of the tooth causing a recession of the gum and bone and eventual tooth loss. Periodontitis has also been linked to more serious conditions including diabetes, heart disease and stroke because of the inflammation involved. For this reason it is important to incorporate a system of regular check-ups to detect and prevent the development of periodontal disease.
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms or discomfort, arrange a check-up. Remember, gingivitis is common and completely reversible.