|Gum disease is an infection of the tissues that surround and support your teeth. Because gum disease is usually painless, you may not know you have it. Also referred to as periodontal disease, gum disease is caused by plaque, the sticky film of bacteria that is constantly forming on our teeth.
Here are some warning signs that can signal a problem:
• gums that bleed easily
• red, swollen, tender gums
• gums that have pulled away from the teeth
• persistent bad breath or bad taste
• permanent teeth that are loose or separating
• any change in the way your teeth fit together when you bite
• any change in the fit of partial dentures
There are many factors that increase the risk of developing gum disease including smoking, pregnancy, and diabetes. It is important to visit Cornell Family Dental if you suspect you have gum disease because the sooner you treat it the better.
The early stage of gum disease is called gingivitis. If you have gingivitis, your gums may become red, swollen and bleed easily. At this stage, the disease is still reversible and can usually be eliminated by a professional cleaning at your dental office, followed by daily brushing and flossing.
Advanced gum disease is called periodontitis. Chronic periodontitis can lead to the loss of tissue and bone that support the teeth and it may become more severe over time. If it does, your teeth will feel loose and start moving around in your mouth. It usually gets worse slowly, but there can be periods of rapid progression.