Gum disease is an infection of the gum tissue primarily caused by a buildup of tartar at the gum line. Gingivitis is the first stage of gum disease. This involves gums that bleed easily during brushing and flossing, as well as red and inflamed gum tissues. Some people with gingivitis also have chronic bad breath.
If it is left unchecked gingivitis can advance into the more dangerous condition known as periodontitis. When this happens your gums can start to pull back from the base of your teeth creating pockets of infection deep in the gum tissue. In time this can compromise the roots of your teeth and even lead to a loss of bone material in the jaw.
If enough bone material is lost the roots of otherwise healthy teeth can be compromised and lost. If only a few teeth are lost in one area, you could restore the function of your mouth with dental implants. If too many teeth are compromised by periodontitis, you may need multiple extractions before being fitted for a set of dentures.
New research has also found a relationship between periodontitis and other medical conditions like diabetes, heart disease and certain types of cancer.
If you have questions about gum disease, or you are concerned that you might have developed gum disease, please feel free to call us at 936-856-9969 so we can help you explore your treatment options.