The soft tissue that wraps around your teeth and covers the roots of your teeth is referred to as your gums. The food deposits left on your teeth are inhabited by germs (this is called plaque) and eventually harden (calculus). If proper brushing is not done your gums may become red, be sore and bleed. If left untreated, the gums move away from your teeth and there is formation of pockets. Germs may lodge in these pockets and cause bone loss.
Gum disease is relatively common. The early stages can be treated with good oral care. However, if left untreated, gum disease can lead to advanced bone loss, loose teeth and eventually tooth loss.
If you have red puffy gums that bleed, sensitive teeth, bad breath or teeth that are becoming loose, you may be suffering from gum disease.
Gum disease can be prevented or minimised by regular check ups to your dentist and good home care. This may involve regular brushing and flossing and other adjunctive methods like floss threaders, interdental toothbrush and waterpik that may be recommended by your hygienist.