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Gum disease is a common condition in adults, with everyone experiencing a strain of it at least once in their lifetime. It is caused by the buildup of plaque in which the harmful bacteria in plaque irritates the gums and causes an infection in the tissue.
The early stages of gum disease is called Gingivitis, literally meaning inflammation of the gums.
The initial symptoms of gum disease are:
If you have these symptoms it is important to visit your dentist, as acting quickly can prevent symptoms from developing.
Gingivitis is reversible with good oral hygiene, however, if gingivitis is not treated it can develop into a condition called periodontitis.
Periodontitis or periodontal disease is a more advanced strain of gum disease which affects the tissue and bone that surrounds the teeth. The likelihood of gingivitis progressing to periodontal disease is increase if you smoke, are diabetic or are on certain medications. If left untreated it can lead to:
In extreme cases, treatment for periodontitis can include antibiotics or dental surgery.
Prevent gum disease by keeping good oral hygiene to eliminate the buildup of plaque. Do this by: