What is Gum Disease?

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.

How do I know if I have gum disease?

Possible signs of gum disease include:

  • 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 rheumatoid arthritis
  • genetic factors
  • stress

The actual diagnosis of your gum health will be made during your extensive periodontal examination in the office. A combination of measuring your bone levels, gum recession, inflammatory bleeding, and reviewing x-rays will be utilized to evaluate your state of health or disease.

For additional information about gum disease, visit the American Academy of Periodontology website here or contact us for a checkup.

More Information:

Why is Treating Gum Disease Important?

How we Treat Gum Disease

Information about Cavitation [diseased areas of bone in the mouth]