Gum disease is the #1 cause of adult tooth loss in the United States.
Even so, many people are tempted to ignore their dentist’s advice to treat gum disease in its early stages.
You have a choice. Do more now, or allow the disease to progress further. Left untreated, gum disease may lead to more serious problems that may require painful and expensive surgery. They can also lead to tooth loss.
Everyone’s mouth contains the bacteria that cause gum disease. That’s why it’s the most common chronic bacterial infection in adults. In fact, the majority of adults in the United States have it. With regular checkups and good daily oral hygiene, it’s possible to keep this infection under control. Since early gum disease symptoms are often mild, many people are not aware of their condition until it becomes more serious.
Over time, a film (plaque) builds up on your teeth. A major cause of tooth decay, plaque is a sticky substance made of bacteria, mucus, and food on the exposed parts of your teeth. Over time, plaque can harden and become trapped at the base of the tooth.
Once plaque hardens on your teeth, it’s known as tartar or calculus. Plaque and tartar can harm your gums if they are not removed. This can lead to inflamed and infected gums, also known as gingivitis.
The infection can create deep pockets (gaps) or cause your gums to recede or pull back. This exposes the roots of your teeth and allows bacteria to grow below the gumline. Over time, the bones, gums, and tissue that support the teeth are destroyed. Eventually, teeth can become loose and may need to be removed.
The symptoms below are all signs of gum disease. If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, tell your dental professional.
Tender or painful gums
Bright red gums