Gum diseases, including gingivitis and periodontitis, are bacterial infections that can lead to tooth loss. Gum disease is the most common cause of tooth loss in adults. It is most usually as a result of inadequate oral hygiene.
It occurs when plaque accumulates around the gum line of teeth and over time the bone and gums recede. Gum disease will result in your gums becoming redder, swelling and bleeding regularly, even with gentle brushing. However, it is unlikely that you will suffer any discomfort.
If you do suffer from gum disease seeing you dentist or dental hygienist every 3-6 months is an important part of keeping your teeth for the long term. People who visit the dentist or hygienist on a regular basis for a “scale & polish” are much less likely to lose their teeth than those that don’t.
Luckily, gingivitis is reversible with professional treatment, good oral home care (brushing your teeth properly, three times a day) and a healthy diet. Untreated gingivitis can lead to periodontitis. Even a small amount of plaque over time will potentially lead to early tooth loss. Poor oral hygiene and smoking are the two biggest causes of gum disease and both can be easily eliminated.