, or gum disease, is a bacterial infection that can result in damaged gums and ultimately, loss of teeth. Symptoms include bleeding during brushing, chronic bad breath, red and swollen gums, receding gum line, and loose or shifting teeth. When plaque builds up along the gum line, gums become inflamed and begin to pull away from the teeth. This is why it's so important to remove the sticky film of plaque that forms on the teeth every day!
The early stages of gum disease are classified as gingivitis, and if caught early on, the effects of the disease can be reversed. Once the gums and bone begin to deteriorate, the damage is permanent and can only be managed, not cured, with professional treatment. Daily brushing and flossing can help prevent the onset of periodontal disease, but regular oral exams and cleanings are necessary to ensure that all plaque and tartar are removed from the teeth and that the signs of gum disease are caught before the damage is irreversible.