Gum disease, also called periodontal disease, is an infection of the gums and bone that provide support for your teeth.
Typically caused by poor oral hygiene, when you don't successfully remove plaque and bacteria buildup daily, it hardens into a substance called tartar. The buildup of plaque and tartar can irritate gums and work its way below the gumline, where it causes an infection that gradually attacks and destroys your jawbone. When this happens, it can result in tooth loss.
Gingivitis is the first stage of gum disease when you might notice that your gums are red, irritated, or swollen. They may also bleed during brushing and flossing. Chronic bad breath that you can't eliminate with brushing, flossing, or mouthwash is another telltale sign of gingivitis.
Periodontitis is the advanced stage of gum disease. As a result, you may feel pain or discomfort when you eat and chew, and your teeth may become mobile. Periodontitis requires scaling and root planing, a deeper cleaning below the gumline to eliminate the tartar and bacteria causing your infection.
Visiting your Rehoboth dentist regularly every six months for teeth cleanings and checkups will help you successfully manage or prevent gum disease. Call our dental office at (302) 226-7960 to schedule your next appointment.