In the most basic terms, gum disease is the growth of bacteria in your mouth. The disease eventually progresses to more advanced stages, attacking the gum tissue that provides stability to your teeth and attaches your teeth to your gums.
As bacteria spreads in your mouth, it creates a substance called “plaque” on the teeth. If plaque is not removed, it builds up and hardens into tartar, a firmer matter. This is very difficult to get off your teeth, as it is attached like glue, becoming much harder to scrape off. This stage is known as gingivitis.
During the initial stages of gingivitis, you will begin to notice your gums turning red, and you'll see that you are bleeding when you brush your teeth. If treated quickly at this point, you will be able to save your teeth.
You can take preventative measures early on with a dedicated oral hygiene program, which includes routine professional cleaning appointments with your dentist. You should also make sure to brush your teeth at least twice a day, ideally after all your meals. You should also floss regularly. With a consistent oral program, you can reduce plaque and prevent gingivitis.
Advanced periodontal disease cannot be cured; it can only be kept under control to prevent tooth loss. It is very important that you prevent the development of this disease. If you have bleeding gums or consistently bad breath, schedule an appointment with Dr. Martinez for a checkup as soon as possible.