In its early stages, gum disease – known as gingivitis is reversible. Gingivitis is caused by the accumulation of plaque and tartar on your teeth and gums causing gum irritation and inflammation resulting in swollen and tender gums that bleed when brushing and flossing.
Periodontitis is the advanced stage of gum disease and is the leading cause of adult tooth loss. It is estimated that a majority of adults will be affected by some form of gum disease at some point in their lifetime, making the practice of preventive dentistry just as important for adults as it is for children.
Only through having your teeth professionally cleaned, a procedure called scaling and root planing, is it possible to remove the build-up of calculus (tartar) from your tooth surface above and below your gum-line, as this cannot be achieved by brushing and flossing.
Another side effect of gum disease and perhaps the most embarrassing, which many sufferers are unaware of, is constant bad breath. Clinically known as halitosis, it is caused by the accumulation of bacteria in your mouth and made worse by poor oral hygiene, tooth decay and gum disease producing a constant odour.
Regular dental check-ups will help prevent gum disease becoming advanced gum disease.