Our teeth are covered with a sticky film of bacteria called plaque. Brushing after meals and snacks and flossing between teeth daily helps remove plaque.
Plaque that is not removed may harden into calculus. When calculus accumulates either above or below the gumline, the gum tissue becomes irritated and inflamed. The early stage of periodontal (gum) disease is called gingivitis. Symptoms of periodontal disease include:
- Persistent bad breath
- Gums that bleed when teeth are brushed
- Red, swollen and tender gums
- Gums that have pulled away from the teeth
- Loose or separating teeth
- Pus between the gum and tooth
- A change in one’s bite
Periodontal diseases are serious bacterial infections that destroy the attachment fibers and supporting bone that hold your teeth in your mouth. When this happens, gums separate from the teeth, forming pockets that fill with plaque and even more infection. The more advanced the disease, the deeper the pockets.