We constantly remind our patients to brush and floss for a good reason; those who don’t are at greater risk for periodontal disease. When plaque, food debris, and mucus are not promptly removed, the resulting bacteria hardens into tartar, which irritates the gum tissue. The early stage of gum disease is called gingivitis, but if left untreated, gingivitis can progress to the advanced stages of gum disease.
Periodontal disease is the leading cause of tooth loss in adults. The problem is that the progression of the disease is often painless and without symptoms. By the time your gums are bleeding and swollen, you’re already confronted with gingivitis. Periodontal cleanings can reverse the condition at this point, but if you skip your semi-annual cleaning and examination, you could find yourself dealing with periodontal disease; this damages the bone and soft tissue that supports your teeth.