Preventing gum disease
Gum disease is a serious infection that can damage the soft tissue around the tooth and destroy the bone that supports the tooth. It's also known as periodontitis. The infection begins as plaque, which is an opaque film on the teeth that hardens to form tartar. As tartar accumulates on the teeth, it becomes a host for bacteria that attacks the soft tissue at the base of the teeth.
Gingivitis is an early stage of gum disease. If left untreated, gingivitis can develop into periodontitis. Bleeding gums and bad breath are early warning signs that a patient may have gingivitis. The disease advances silently and often without pain.
Tooth loss is an obvious indicator of a serious gum infection. Scientific research has shown links to gum disease and stroke, heart disease and diabetes. Pregnant women can be affected by gum disease because the body's entire immune system is weakened.