Gum disease is also known as periodontal disease. The main cause is bacteria from plaque and tartar that builds up under the gums and proceed deeper affecting the bone and tissues supporting the tooth.
Common risk factors for gum disease include:
- Tobacco use
- Hormonal changes in females
- Certain medications
Gum disease usually starts with gingivitis (inflammation of the gums) which presents as bleeding, red, swollen and sometimes tender gums. These are usually undetected and thus are not treated, leading to Periodontitis (loss of bone and surroundings of the tooth) which can result in the loss of the bone and tooth. Periodontitis presents as deep pockets, recessions, and loss of gums in between teeth, loose teeth, pus, bad breath and later pain.
The treatment of gum disease requires an accurate diagnosis of its type and a regular maintenance regime under the specialist or general dentist care.
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