What is gum disease?
If your gums bleed when you brush, there is a high chance you could be suffering from gum disease. Gum disease, also referred to as periodontal disease, is an inflammatory condition of the gums that also affects the bone support structure surrounding the teeth. There are two main types of gum disease – gingivitis and periodontitis. If left untreated this preventable disease can result in bad breath, bleeding gums, and tooth loss.
Gingivitis is the inflammation of the gum where it meets the crown of the tooth. It occurs in areas where food and plaque have been allowed to build up, causing harmful toxins to be released. Symptoms of gingivitis include irritated or red gums that may bleed when brushing or flossing. Gingivitis can affect patients of any age, but is usually reversible with proper dental care.
If gingivitis goes unchecked it will progress to periodontitis, which can lead to tooth loss. Periodontitis is the leading cause of tooth loss globally. It begins within a week of not brushing and flossing your teeth properly. It is the first visible sign of the destructive effects of the bacteria present in plaque. Symptoms include red, swollen and bleeding gums. Periodontitis is easily reversed in the early stages with effective oral hygiene.