Periodontal (gum) disease is insidious. It is an infection of the gums that has it's roots in the presence of plaque, an opaque film on the teeth that hardens to form calculus or tartar. As tartar accumulates, it harbors bacteria that create inflammation and affect the soft tissue around the teeth. This is the early stage of gum disease known as Gingivitis. Left untreated, Gingivitis becomes Periodontitis which ultimately destroys the tissue surrounding your teeth AND the bone that holds your teeth in place. Other than bad breath and gums that bleed, there are very few early warning signs. The disease advances silently, often without pain, and if left untreated can lead to premature tooth loss.
Risk factors for Periodontal(Gum) disease include smoking and other systemic factors like diabetes. Scientific research has discovered linkage between gum disease and cardiovascular disease- even an increased risk for pregnant women. When your gums become diseased, your entire immune system is weakened.
See your dentist regularly to prevent the onset of gum disease. Sometimes more frequent recare visits are suggested to keep your smile healthy, and in more challenging cases referral to a periodontal specialist may be recommended.