What is gum disease?
Gum disease is a disease of the supporting structures of the teeth and is caused predominantly by the build up of plaque around your teeth. The first signs of the disease are bleeding gums, commonly known as Gingivitis. At this stage the disease is reversible, however, as the disease progresses the plaque can attack the underlying structures, predominantly the bone, supporting your teeth, which causes pocketing (or the peeling away of the gums from your teeth). If allowed to progress this can lead to the loosening and drifting of your teeth and eventually tooth loss.
The disease follows a chronic progression and usually presents without any symptoms of pain. The problem is usually detected by your general dental practitioner, on your routine dental examination and early referral can help save your teeth.