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What causes Gum Disease



Gum disease also is known as periodontal disease, and is an infection of the gums surrounding your teeth. Gum disease is one of the top reasons for tooth loss in adults, and because it is virtually pain free, many patients do not know they have the disease.

During each regular check-up, your dentist will check for signs of periodontal disease by measuring the space between your teeth and gums.

What causes Gum Disease

Gum disease is caused by a build-up of plaque (a sticky form of bacteria that forms on the teeth). If the plaque is not removed (by flossing, brushing, and regular dental check-ups), it will continue to build up and create toxins that can damage the gums. Periodontal disease forms just below the gum line, and creates small pockets that separate the gums from the teeth. Periodontal disease has two stages: gingivitis and periodontitis.




  • Gingvitis - This is the early stage of gum disease, when the Gingvitis gums become red, swollen, and bleed easily. At this stage, the disease is treatable and can usually be eliminated by daily brushing and flossing.



  • Periodontitis- If left untreated, gingivitis will advance into periodontitis, and the gums and bone that support the teeth will become seriously and irreversibly damaged. Gums infected with periodontitis can cause teeth to become loose, fall out, or be removed by a dentist.



While it is possible to have periodontal disease and not know it, some symptoms can include:

  • Gums that bleed easily
  • Red, swollen, tender gums
  • Gums that have pulled away from the teeth
  • Persistent bad breath or bad taste
  • Pus between your teeth and gums
  • Permanent teeth that are loose or separating
  • Any change in the way your teeth fit together when you bite
  • Any change in the fit of partial dentures