What is Gum Disease?
Gum disease is the infection of the hard and soft tissues of the mouth by bacteria and plaque. Typically caused by poor oral hygiene, gum disease can be easily prevented with proper teeth cleaning habits at home and regular dental visits. However, when your smile is affected by gum disease, you risk everything from bleeding gums to tooth loss. Research has also linked gum disease to systemic health complications like stroke or heart disease if left untreated.
The Stages of Gum Disease
The first stage of gum disease is called gingivitis and is characterized by sore, bleeding gums when brushing and flossing. Gingivitis can be treated with professional dental care, but if left to progress, it can advance to periodontitis or advanced periodontitis. At this advanced stage, gum disease is incurable, but can be effectively managed with laser gum disease treatment.
Common symptoms of gum disease are:
- Bleeding gums when brushing or flossing
- Red, sore, or inflamed gums
- Constant bad breath
- Tooth sensitivity to hot or cold beverages
- Loose or shifting teeth