Periodontal disease (Periodontitis) damages the gums, ligaments and bone structure that support your teeth. It is caused by the bacterial infection associated with plaque. Plaque is that clear sticky substance that builds throughout the day on your teeth which is removed by regular brushing and flossing. Plaque that isn’t cleaned off through brushing and flossing hardens into tartar which must be removed by a dental hygienist through ‘scaling'.
Tartar that is left on the teeth can cause infection that will accumulate below the gum line. Over time the bacterial infection can result in the gums separating from their grip on your teeth causing ‘pockets’ between your gum and tooth to develop. These ‘pockets’ make room for more infection and additional problems to occur including receeding and pain in gum tissue as well as loosened damaged teeth and constant breath issues and even tooth loss.
What to look for:
- Bleeding gums during normal (even gentle) brushing and flossing
- Gums that are tender, sensitive or even painful to the touch
- Swollen gums
- Shiny or bright red gums(like in many infections)
- Receeding gums