Gum disease, clinically called Periodontal Disease, is responsible for around 70 percent of adult tooth loss. Gum disease may result in swollen, inflamed gums surrounding the teeth, but pain is often not associated until late stages. Gum disease is bacteria that build up under the gum line, known as calculus or tartar, that eat away at the fibers that hold the gums to the teeth. As bacteria spread, the pockets become deeper until the bacteria finally eat away the bone that holds the tooth in place. Think of it as if bugs are eating away at the soil around a tree trunk. Eventually, they eat away all of the soil and part of the tree’s roots, causing the tree to collapse. Keep in mind that once you have contracted periodontal disease, you will always have the disease due to the damage that it does to your body. Careful daily hygiene and regular dental visits to clean your pockets are required to keep the bacteria from returning. After the initial dental appointments to remove the bacteria, you will be placed on a regular appointment schedule called “periodontal maintenance” to keep your pockets free of bacteria. If you have noticed bleeding or puffy gums please contact the Greenwood Dental team and schedule your dental exam today.