Early gum disease (Gingivitis) can be caused by long-term exposure to plaque, the sticky colourless film on youth teeth that forms after eating or sleeping.
Gum disease originates in your gums, where infections form from harmful bacteria and materials left behind from eating. Early warning signs include chronic bad breath, tender or painful swollen gums and minor bleeding after brushing or flossing. Gingivitis often goes unnoticed and the infections can eventually cause gums to separate from teeth, creating even greater risk for infection and decay.
While gum disease is the major cause of tooth loss in adults, it is often avoidable. If gingivitis goes untreated, more serious problems can occur such as abscesses, bone loss or periodontitis.
Periodontitis is treated in a number of ways including root planing, which involves cleaning and scraping below the gum line to smooth roots. If effective, this procedure helps gums reattach themselves to tooth structure.
Pregnancy can also cause a form of gingivitis, which is linked to hormonal changes in the woman’s body that causes plaque production.