If you are over the age of 30, there is a 50% chance that you could have periodontal disease. This bacterial infection affects nearly 64.7 million adults in the United States, according to a study by the CDC.
Our mouths are naturally full of bacteria. However, when proper oral hygiene and professional cleanings are neglected, this bacteria builds up in the form of plaque and tarter on our teeth. According to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, the longer plaque and tarter stay on teeth, the more harmful they become.
Gingivitis is the beginning stage of periodontal disease. At this stage, the gums tend to be swollen, tender, bright red and tend to bleed easily. Gingivitis requires both professional dental treatment and regular at-home care. When left untreated, it advances to periodontitis, which means “inflammation around the tooth.”
Once gum disease has advanced to periodontitis, the gums will start to pull away from the teeth and create spaces that become infected. Your immune system will naturally try to fight off the infection, breaking down the bone and connective tissue that hold your teeth in place. Left untreated, your teeth’s supporting structures are destroyed, causing loose teeth that will have to be removed.