Periodontal Disease also known as gum disease is the leading cause of tooth loss in adults, because it occurs at an age when cavities are usually a thing of the past and the initial symptoms often go unnoticed.
Here is what to watch for: gums that bleed when brushing; red, swollen or tender gums; or persistent bad breath.
Periodontal or gum disease is a bacterial infection of the gums, ligaments and bone that support the teeth and anchor them in the jaw. The bacteria which act mainly on certain carbohydrates, in our diets, are normal inhabitants of the mouth, living in a thin film called plaque. If plaque is not removed, it may eventually harden into tartar, a hard mineral shell that irritates and erodes healthy gum tissue. The early stage of gum disease is called gingivitis. If left untreated, pockets begin to form between the teeth and gum tissue and may erode the tissue which attaches the tooth to the jaw. This stage is called periodontitis.
Gum disease can be treated at all stages, but most importantly, it can be prevented. Here's how: Brush twice daily, floss daily, eat a balanced diet and visit your dentist regularly for a preventive check up and professional cleaning which is essential in the prevention of gum disease.
Information as per the Ontario Dental Association.
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