Although gum disease is a very common condition, people are often unaware they have it. Early signs and symptoms are easily missed or ignored, but it is important that we catch it during its early stages. If left to progress beyond that, it can cause more severe problems.
Gum disease is caused by plaque (soft, white & sticky substance) that builds up daily on our teeth. If plaque is not removed, it can turn into hard tartar (calculus). Plaque and tartar cause gum infection (gingivitis), which shows as redness, swelling and soreness. If gum infection persists long enough it can start to break down the gum tissue and even the bone that supports the tooth. That is when we call it periodontitis.
Gum disease is the primary cause of tooth loss after the age of 35. Over ½ of adults over the age of 35 are already in the early stages of gum disease.
Like all chronic diseases, gum disease does not go away. It will not get better by itself. As the condition worsens, it is harder to treat successfully. That is why it is best to initiate treatment as soon as possible.
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