What is Gum Disease?


Periodontitis and Your Health

Gum disease is an inflammatory condition that affects supporting soft tissue and bone around the teeth. Although many times there is only minimal or no symptoms, this disease is considered to be a serious health condition that if not treated can lead to tooth loss. It occurs as a result of your body’s immune response against toxins produced by bacteria that live on your teeth and gums. It starts by affecting gingival (gum) tissue around the teeth. A common finding at this stage is bleeding from gums when brushing or biting on hard food. This initial stage of gum disease is called gingivitis which means inflammation of gingival tissue. Although gingivitis is a reversible disease that can be treated through professional tooth cleaning and proper home care, it is considered a serious inflammation because if not managed properly it can extend deeper into the bone and progress into periodontitis which is the inflammatory breakdown of the alveolar bone that supports the teeth.


Increasing research evidence over the last two decades has suggested positive associations between gum inflammation and several important systemic diseases such as diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, atherosclerosis, myocardial infarction and stroke. Therefore, proper diagnosis and treatment of gum disease may not only benefit your oral health, but may also play a positive role in your overall systemic health.

How do I know if I have gum disease?

The best way to reduce your risk of having gum disease is to visit your dentist on regular basis for check-ups and cleanings. Gum disease, by and large, is a silent disease, but it is usually accompanied with some common warning signs including:


Bleeding gums when brushing or biting on hard food
Redness and swollen gum
Loose and separating teeth
Bad breath
Receding gums that make the teethlook longer than before
Partial dentures that do notfit anymore
Change in your bite


If you think you might be at risk of gum disease or if you need any further information please feel free to contact us at GTA Periodontics.