What is Gum Disease?
Gum disease or periodontal disease is the single most common cause of tooth loss in adults. The gums become inflamed and the bone of the teeth become infected.
Gum disease is caused by plaque, a color-less film of bacteria that forms on the teeth. Plaque, if it is not removed, hardens to form tartar around the gumlines of the teeth.
The gums pull away from the teeth and small pockets form between the teeth and gums. Plaque fills these pockets and it becomes impossible for you to totally remove the plaque. Eventually, the bone structure supporting the teeth can be destroyed.
Causes of Gum Disease
-Impacted food, tobacco products, alcohol
-Improper use of dental floss and toothpicks.
-Poorly aligned teeth
-Unbalanced diet. Nutritional deficiency and the body's ability to fight off infection.
-Pregnancy. A temporary condition referred to as "pregnancy gingivitis" may occur due to fluctuating hormone levels.
-Medicines and drugs. Oral contraceptives, anti-epilepsy drugs, steroids and cancer therapy drugs may have a negative effect.
-Certain diseases such as: diabetes, kidney failure, liver cirrhosis, anemia and leukemia.
Signs and Symptoms of Gum Disease
-Flossing or brushing your teeth cause gums to bleed
-Red, swollen or tender gums
-Receding or shrunken gums
-Pus appears between your teeth when you press your gums with your finger
-Pain when chewing
-Buildup of calculus or tartar
-Teeth that seem loose or that change position
-Changes in your bite
-Changes in the way your partial dentures fit
-Bad breath or a chronic bad taste in your mouth
-Sensitivity to hot and cold