Gum disease, otherwise known as periodontal disease affects the gums and bone supporting your teeth. It is caused by sticky plaque and hard deposits of tartar. It usually occurs when the teeth and gums are not kept clean enough. The purpose of tooth brushing is to remove the sticky bacteria that form plaque.
Scaling and polishing can remove hard tartar. However, without regular cleaning the gums will come away from the tooth, making pockets around the teeth where food and plaque can collect. Pockets are more difficult to keep clean so gum disease will usually get progressively worse if it is ignored.
There are two stages to gum disease:
- First stage - redness and swelling around gums. This is referred to as gingivitis. It can be cured with a good oral hygiene regime.
- Second stage - Some of the bone that supports the teeth is lost and the teeth become loose until they eventually have to be removed.
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