Gum disease is a generic name that refers to two different oral conditions: gingivitis and periodontal disease. Both of these diseases are caused by specific bacteria in our mouths.
Gingivitis is an infection of the gum tissue which leads to chronic inflammation and bleeding of the gums.
Periodontal Disease can occur when gingivitis is left untreated. The infection moves below the gum line and as it worsens it can cause gum recession, the loss of bone that supports the teeth, and eventually the loss of teeth themselves.
Signs of gum disease:
- bleeding gums after brushing or flossing
- receding gums
- loose teeth
- bad breath
Factors that can increase your risk for developing gum disease include:
- poor oral hygiene and dental plaque accumulation
- smoking/tobacco use
- systemic illnesses like cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and autoimmune disease
- genetic factors
The actual diagnosis of your gum health will be made during your thorough periodontal examination in the office. A combination of measuring your bone levels, gum recession, inflammatory bleeding, and a review of your digital x-rays will be utilized to evaluate your state of health or disease. You will then be appointed on the appropriate periodontal cleaning interval based on your state of health.