Gum disease, which is also known as periodontal disease, refers to an infection of the soft tissue that surrounds the teeth. If left untreated, the disease can progress from causing tissue damage to destroying the bone that supports the teeth. Ultimately, tooth loss can occur.

The early stage of gum disease is called gingivitis. At this point, the disease can still be reversed, but in order to eliminate the infection, it is important to recognize some typical symptoms.

Symptoms of gingivitis

Healthy gums act as a seal for the teeth and fit snugly around them. Depending on the individual’s pigmentation, the color of their gums can range from pale pink to grey, brown, or mottled.

Unhealthy gums can appear red, puffy, or swollen. They may be tender to the touch and bleed easily following flossing or brushing. As the gum recedes or wears away, a person might notice gaps forming between the teeth and the gum line. 

Prevention and elimination

Because poor oral hygiene represents the most common cause of gingivitis, scheduling regular dental appointments can help to prevent the condition. If symptoms of gum disease do appear, it is important to seek dental care as soon as possible.

Visiting the dentist will increase the possibility of reversing any damage and halting the disease’s progression. Making an appointment with a local professional, such as a dental office Seattle WA residents recommend, can be helpful. The dentist can eliminate the current problem and provide education regarding its cause.

Role of plaque

When the bacteria that live in your mouth come into contact with sugars or starches from the food you eat, they can form a sticky film called plaque. If plaque is not removed from the teeth, it can harden into tartar. The plaque and tartar can irritate and inflame the part of the gum by the base of the teeth. This area is known as the gingiva, and when it becomes swollen and prone to bleeding, gingivitis has occurred.

Having gingivitis might cause you to frown. If you keep your gums healthy, you will give yourself a reason to smile.