Gum disease can silently hide in your mouth destroying gum tissue, bone and teeth and also can potentially contribute to other health problems such as strokes, heart attacks or complications with pregnancy or diabetes. It is silent because in its early stages it is painless and because its early signs may be mild in nature such as swollen or bleeding gums, they are often ignored by patients. It is vital to have regular dental checkups to diagnose, treat and arrest gum disease before it becomes a major problem.
The most common cause of gum disease is plaque which is produced by the normal bacteria in our mouth. This sticky and colorless film releases toxins that destroy the natural fibers that attach the gum tissue to the bone and teeth. As this attachment is destroyed, spaces known as periodontal pockets form between teeth and gums allowing more and more bacteria to hide, flourish and continue to break down the natural fibers connecting the gum tissue to the bone. Over time this process can progress to advanced stages where very invasive treatment will be necessary. The best way to prevent periodontal disease are regular dental visits, brushing twice a day and flossing at least once a day at home.