Periodontal disease or gum disease is a chronic inflammatory disease triggered by bacterial infection that ultimately destroys supporting gums and bone around your teeth. This can cause them to become loose and fall out.
When untreated, the associated bacteria and inflammatory byproducts can also enter your bloodstream and have been linked to other serious ailments like heart disease, stroke, diabetes, respiratory ailments and dementia. The most common form of gum disease is adult periodontitis.
What causes gum disease?
- Our mouths are full of bacteria which combine with mucus and other particles to form a sticky, colorless “plaque” on teeth.
- The longer plaque and tartar are on teeth, the more harmful they become.
- Gingivitis, a mild form of gum disease, can usually be reversed with daily brushing, flossing and regular cleaning by a dentist or dental hygienist.
- Untreated gingivitis can advance to “periodontitis” (which means “inflammation around the tooth”).
- Here the bacteria formed in dental plaque wedges between the teeth to a point where the infection cannot be reached with the bristles of a toothbrush.
- These areas are called pockets and become a cause of concern when the gum detachment reaches 3 mm or more.
- The bacteria underneath remain hidden and undisturbed, while the surrounding area becomes inflamed, and causes the loss of tooth supporting jaw bone.
Watch this video to learn more about the causes of gum disease.
Do not neglect gum disease! Consult an experienced dentist for treatment as soon as possible.