What is Gum Disease? The earliest stage of gum disease is called gingivitis. It is a mild infection in the gum tissues caused by the long-term effects of plaque deposits. Plaque is a sticky material made of bacteria, mucus, and food debris that develops on your teeth. If this build-up of plaque and tartar is not removed, it will irritate and inflame the gums. Bacteria build on the teeth and the toxins they produce cause the gums to become infected, swollen, and tender.
If allowed to progress, gingivitis can develop into periodontitis. Periodontitis is a serious infection in the bone around your teeth and is one of the leading causes of adult tooth loss.
Signs of Gingivitis:
- Bleeding gums (blood on toothbrush even with gentle brushing of the teeth)
- Bright red or red-purple appearance to gums
- Gums that are tender when touched, but otherwise painless
- Mouth sores
- Swollen gums
- Shiny appearance to gums
It is important to know that if diagnosed early, it can be treated and reversed. If treatment is not received, a more serious and advanced stage of gum disease may follow. Good oral hygiene is the best prevention against gingivitis. The key factors are:
- Regular dental cleanings and checkups at least every 6 months
- Floss gently at least once per day
- Brush twice a day
Call us at 407-352-6001 to schedule your next healthy-smile visit today!