Gum disease is painless and progressive in the majority of the population. Minerals in your saliva are released to neutralise damaging acids in food and bacteria that rot your teeth. Unfortunately these build-up on your teeth as a hard scale (tartar or calculus) and it can’t be brushed off. The build-up creates a scaffold for more bacteria to live permanently, resulting in inflammation and infection of your gums. Over many years this inflammation results in damage – initally bleeding, then peeling away of the gums from the teeth, and eventually bone loss, loose teeth, and lost teeth. You have heard of the phrase ‘ long in the tooth’.
This process is usually painless, so many people don’t go to the dentist to have their teeth professionally cleaned because they don’t knoe they have a problem. Once gum disease has caused damage, it can’t be fixed. Some people don’t go to a dentist for many years and notice no problems, only to find their teeth are suddenly loose and beyond saving, with no bone left. I would urge everyone to have their teeth cleaned every six months, and in severe cases see a gum specialist (periodontist). Gum disease is also linked to heart disease and general health.