Most people believe they have healthy gums but would be hard pressed to describe what healthy gums look like. Healthy gums have a pink, coral color which should be easy enough to identify. The primary stage of gum disease is a swelling or reddening of the gums. This stage of the disease is known as gingivitis.
Sometimes, the changes from a healthy to a diseased gum show few symptoms so as to go unnoticed. In addition, there is little or no pain to sound a warning. So, the situation goes untreated because he or she is unaware that they have an infection that has worsened into gingivitis.
Gingivitis is a build up of plaque and tartar with bacterial toxins that inflame the gums surrounding the teeth.
The next step is when blood is noticed during flossing or while brushing ones teeth. Bleeding, indicative of poor dental hygiene, may occur with gingivitis, at this stage. But the teeth are so far unaffected and firmly seated in their sockets.
At this point the disease is easily reversible with improved oral hygiene and professional dental care. If left untreated, it progresses to the next stage which is periodontitis when the inflammation spreads below the gum line. Now the gums begin to recede and pockets begin to form between the teeth and gums. At this point, the disease is irreversible since the bones and connective tissue gradually and progressively deteriorate. The condition is likely to be accompanied with tenderness in the gums and chronic bad breath.
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