Gum disease is also known as periodontitis and is a serious infection of the gums that can damage the soft tissue around the tooth and destroy the bone that supports the tooth. The infection begins as plaque, which is an opaque film on the teeth that hardens to form tartar. As tartar accumulates, it becomes a home for bacteria that attack the soft tissue at the base of the teeth.
Gingivitis is an early stage of gum disease. If gingivitis is left untreated, it can develop into periodontitis which can destroy the tissue surrounding your teeth, and the bone that holds your teeth in place. Bleeding gums and bad breath are early warning signs that a patient may have gingivitis. The disease advances silently and often without pain.
An obvious indicator of a serious gum infection is tooth loss. Scientific research has shown links to gum disease and stroke, heart disease and diabetes. Pregnant women can be affected by gum disease because the body's entire immune system is weakened.
Call Columbia Dental Care & Associates immediately at (407) 933-4343 to schedule an appointment if you think you have gum disease.