Gum disease has several stages and each of them can have an impact on your oral health. Some can even impact other medical conditions. Bacteria in your mouth feed on food particles and residual sugar from gum and sweetened drinks. This can quickly develop into plaque. If plaque is not regularly removed by brushing and flossing it can harden into tartar at the gum line, leading to infection.
The first stage of gum disease is gingivitis. Common symptoms include red and swollen gums. You might also experience bleeding during brushing and flossing or persistent bad breath.
If gingivitis is left unchecked it can develop into periodontitis. Tartar near the gum line can cause the gums to recede from the teeth. This creates pockets of infection in your gums near the roots of your teeth. Over time this infection can even cause a loss of material in the bones that anchor your teeth. Symptoms also include a difference in the way your teeth bite together or a feeling that your teeth are slightly loose in the gums.
Brushing your teeth twice a day with a soft bristled toothbrush and abrasive tooth paste helps remove food particles and plaque. Flossing twice a day helps remove plaque from between the teeth and near the gum line before it can develop into tartar.
Once tartar develops it can only be removed by your dentist. So be sure to keep to your regularly scheduled dental checkups twice each year. During your and cleaning we watch for early warning signs and can answer questions you might have.
If you are concerned that you might be developing gum disease, please feel free to call us at 757-716-7943 to schedule an appointment.