Gum disease is the leading cause of tooth loss in adults, affecting more than ¾ of all people, regardless of race, nationality, or socio-economic levels.
The good news is that the earlier gum disease is detected, the more successful are the treatment results.
Generally gum disease takes a long time to develop (it is a chronic disease) and can be characterized by short periods of rapid tissue breakdown, followed by long periods of dormancy.
Like all chronic diseases, gum disease does not go away. It will not get better by itself. As the condition worsens, it is harder to treat successfully. That is why once we notice gum problems, it is best to initiate treatment as soon as possible.
However, most people do not know they have gum disease, until their dentist brings it to their attention. One of the reasons it comes as a surprise is that gum disease is a silent disease, with few obvious symptoms in its early stages.
One of the first warning signs is when the rim of the gum next to your teeth becomes red and swollen, and bleeds easily when touched. Most often, there is no discomfort at this stage, yet the disease has gained a foothold and is now known as “gingivitis.”
Gingivitis is reversible with improved oral home care and a professional cleaning. However, if left untreated, the danger that it will progress into an irreversible gum disease that damages the gums and bone surrounding the teeth is very real.
Gum disease is a more advanced disease than gingivitis. Gum disease destroys jawbone and tissues supporting the teeth. Yet still, an individual may be unaware of the problem existing in their mouth.