Periodontal disease is an extremely widespread condition that affects about 4 out of every 5 adults in America. It is a mild gum infection that sets in when bacteria is allowed to build up and irritate the gums, which can become very serious if ignored. However, it is quite easy to treat periodontal disease before it progresses to an advanced stage.
Also known as gingivitis, periodontal disease is a gum infection that occurs from the bacteria that constantly grows in your mouth. The bacteria form a sticky film over the teeth called plaque. The plaque can be removed easily by brushing and flossing on a regular basis. However, if the plaque is not removed, it will harden to form tartar, which does not come off unless you have a dentist perform a cleaning. Tartar will make it easier for bacteria to grow and spread along the gums.
Too much bacteria buildup will lead to irritation of the gums. The toxins produced by the plaque will cause the gums to become red and swollen. They will likely bleed easier and be more sensitive.
Fortunately, it is easy to treat periodontal disease at this state. A professional cleaning by a dental hygienist will rid tartar and plaque. From then on, brushing regularly after meals and flossing once a day will prevent gum disease from becoming uncontrollable, as well as visiting a dentist every six months for checkups. It can also be helpful to supplement you oral hygiene repertoire with antiseptic mouthwash (though this is never as effective as flossing is and should replace it.)