To understand gum disease, we’d like to briefly explain what periodontal tissue is.
Periodontal tissue has 2 parts: soft and hard tissue. The soft tissue consists of the gum, vascular system and the ligaments that attach the tooth to the jaw. The hard periodontal tissue includes the tooth and alveolar ridge or the jaw bone.
Gum disease is an inflammation caused by poor oral hygiene that affects the attachment of the tooth to the soft and hard tissue. This inflammation can progress to the bone and eventually lead to tooth loss due to a lack of periodontal support.
There are 3 stages of periodontal disease: gingivitis, periodontitis and advanced periodontitis.
The main contributing factor to gum disease is the bacterial plaque gathering around the gum line. The toxins produced by those invisible microorganisms damage the bond between tooth and gum. There are some risk factors that can increase the effect of those toxins, such as smoking, diabetes, pregnancy, stress and poor oral hygiene.
It is very important to diagnose gum disease at an early stage and fix it before the destruction of the soft and hard tissue starts and gingival recession or bone loss occurs around the tooth.
Gum disease normally starts with getting build-up and calculus around the gum. Unfortunately, this provides an excellent breeding ground for bacteria and plaque accumulation. So it is very important to notice the calculus and remove it at an early stage, before it penetrates to the deeper layers and detaches the gum from the tooth. Left too late, the periodontal tissue will recede and the tooth will be compromised.
Symptoms of gum disease: (most of these symptoms are painless):
Bleeding with brushing
Gingival recession (gum moves down)
A wobbly tooth
It is very important to contact your dentist as soon as you notice any of these symptoms.