The early stage of gum disease is called gingivitis.
If you have gingivitis, your gums may become red, swollen and bleed easily. At this stage, the disease is still reversible and can usually be eliminated by a professional cleaning at your dental office, followed by daily brushing and flossing.
Advanced gum disease is called periodontitis.
Chronic periodontitis affects 47.2% of adults over 30 in the United States. It can lead to the loss of tissue and bone that support the teeth and it may become more severe over time. If it does, your teeth will feel loose and start moving around in your mouth. This is the most common form of periodontitis in adults but can occur at any age. It usually gets worse slowly, but there can be periods of rapid progression.
Treatment methods depend upon the type of disease and how far the condition has progressed.
Good dental care at home is essential to help keep periodontal disease from becoming more serious or recurring. Remember: You don’t have to lose teeth to gum disease. Brush your teeth twice a day, clean between your teeth daily, eat a balanced diet, and schedule regular dental visits for a lifetime of healthy smiles.
Gum disease Warning signs
Gums that bleed easily
Red, swollen, tender gums
Gums that have pulled away from the teeth
Persistent bad breath or bad taste
Permanent teeth that are loose or separating
Any change in the way your teeth fit together when you bite
Any change in the fit of partial dentures
Factors that increase the risk of gum disease:
Poor oral hygiene
Smoking or chewing tobacco
Crooked teeth that are hard to keep clean
Medications that can dry the mouth, including steroids, ADHD medications, certain types of anti-epilepsy drugs, cancer therapy drugs, some calcium channel blockers and some oral contraceptives