Gum disease is an inflammation of the gums that can progress to affect the tissues and bone that surround and support your teeth. It is the major cause of about 70% of adult tooth loss, affecting nearly 80% of people at some point in their life. Gum disease includes gingivitis (the early stage of gum disease) and periodontitis (a more advanced stage of gum disease).

Gum Disease is caused by plaque, a soft, sticky film that builds up on your teeth and contains bacteria. You can remove plaque by brushing twice a day and cleaning between your teeth daily. Plaque that is not removed daily by brushing and flossing between teeth can eventually harden into tartar. Brushing and flossing become more difficult as tartar collects at the gum line. As the tartar, plaque and bacteria continue to increase, the gum tissue can become red, swollen and possibly bleed when you brush your teeth. This is called gingivitis, an early stage of gum (periodontal) disease. If left untreated, periodontal disease can damage the tissues that support your teeth, even the bone.

Gums that easily bleed when brushing or flossing
Swollen, red or tender gums
Gums that seem to be pulling away from your teeth
Persistent bad breath
An unpleasant taste in your mouth
Teeth that are loose or are separating from each other
Sharp or dull pains when chewing foods
Teeth that are overly sensitive to cold or hot temperatures
Daily brushing and flossing (morning and night) can help prevent periodontitis. So can regular visits to your dentist for professional cleanings. If you smoke, quitting will reduce your risk of this disease.

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While you should always check for the warning signs of gum disease when you are brushing and flossing, be aware that there might not be any discomfort until the disease has reached an advanced stage. That’s why it’s important to visit your dentist regularly to have your teeth cleaned. Your dentist can monitor your oral health and help you identify and prevent problems before they become more serious.

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Source: Signs & Symptoms of Gum Disease

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