Plaque is a soft substance made up of bacteria, salivary products and food debris. If the teeth are not cleaned efficiently plaque accumulates and causes an inflammation/infection in the gums – this is called Gingivitis. The gums look red and puffy and you might notice that they bleed when your brush or floss. This is the early stage of Gum Disease and is easily treated by removing the soft plaque or hard tartar from the teeth. This procedure is carried out by the dentist or hygienist. The gums will return to health provided you clean your teeth properly as instructed.
If gingivitis is not treated it may progress to Periodontitis. This is where the infection spreads to the supporting tooth tissue especially the bone. The bone is lost and the teeth eventually become loose. This is the main reason for tooth loss in adults.
Can Gum Disease be treated?
Gingivitis is reversible and easily treated. Periodontitis is treatable in the early stages but the prognosis for the teeth decreases as the bone loss increases.
Preventing Gum Disease
Regular visits to the dentist or hygienist along with good oral hygiene at home will maintain the health of your gums and supporting tissues