Gum disease is described as the inflammation of the gums, oral tissues and bones that surround the teeth. Gum disease is most common in adults and can be hard to identify at early stages of development.
Gingivitis is classified as the first stage of gum disease. It is described as inflammation of the gums. Gingivitis develops due to a build up of plaque on tooth surfaces. This build up of plaque produces enzymes and toxins when it comes in contact with certain foods known as fermentable carbohydrates. These enzymes and toxins are harmful to the oral tissues, causing the gums to become inflamed, red and puffy with a tendency to bleed when brushing and flossing. Gingivitis is reversible and can be prevented and treated by proper brushing and flossing techniques.
Periodontal disease is a bacterial infection that is a more severe stage of gum disease than gingivitis. Periodontal disease affects the teeth and bones. Just like gingivitis, periodontal disease develops because of a build up of plaque. Unlike gingivitis, periodontal disease isn’t reversible. Once you develop it, there is no way to return gums to their normal state but proper brushing and flossing techniques can help prevent periodontal disease from getting worse. Periodontal disease leads to loss of bone which, ultimately will lead to tooth loss.
Periodontal disease is a major cause of tooth loss in adults.
People with diabetes are at higher risk for developing periodontal disease
Gum disease increases with age. It’s estimated that 86% of elderly over the age of 70 years have periodontitis and half have already lost teeth due to periodontal disease.
Smokers, illicit drug users and those individuals who consume excessive amounts of alcohol are prone to periodontal disease.