Gum disease occurs when there is an infection of the tissues that keep your teeth in place. This oral condition is mainly caused by bacteria from plaque and tartar buildup.
Plaque is the film of bacteria that forms on your teeth and around your gum line from poor oral hygiene. Flossing cleans plaque from between your teeth and around your gum line, preventing it from hardening into tartar and protecting both your teeth and gums from bacteria. With a multitude of bacteria known to cause gum disease, it is crucial to have a thorough home oral care regimen as well as make your regular dental cleanings a priority.
There are 3 stages of gum disease: gingivitis, periodontitis and advanced periodontitis.
Gingivitis: This is the first stage of gum disease. Gingivitis begins with poor oral hygiene and bacteria buildup causing irritation to the gums. Signs of gingivitis include red, swollen gums and bleeding when brushing or flossing your teeth. Implementing a daily oral care regimen of proper brushing and flossing can reverse gingivitis. This is because the bone and fibers that hold your teeth in place have not yet been affected.
Periodontitis: This occurs when gingivitis progresses and irreversible damage is done to the supporting bone and fibers that hold your teeth in place. Deep pockets form in the spaces between your teeth and gums, which allow plaque, bacteria, and tartar to accumulate. The vital support structures of the teeth are destroyed and gums may recede and form gaps between your teeth. Seeking immediate treatment is necessary to prevent further damage and tooth loss.
Advanced Periodontitis: At this final stage of gum disease, pockets that have formed in the previous stage are much deeper, allowing teeth to shift and become loose. Connective tissues and bone support of the teeth are now destroyed due to the widespread of bacteria growth. Loose teeth now can move around in the mouth and affect your bite. If teeth are to be saved at this stage, seeing a doctor for gum disease is needed.
If you know you’re at greater risk for developing gum disease, a great oral hygiene routine is a must. Visit us at Pine Seven Dental Centre in Woodbridge to check up on your oral health and catch any oral concerns in the early stages!