Healthy gums and the bone underneath hold our teeth firmly in place. Gums disease weakens the attachment between the gums and the teeth. Gum disease is caused by plaque, a clear and sticky film of bacteria that forms on your teeth and the place where your gum and teeth meet everyday. If not removed daily with gentle brushing and flossing, the plaque hardens to form calculus, also known as tartar.
Once the calculus is formed, they are hard and not easily removed brushing and flossing. The can also lead to an infection where the gums are attached to the teeth. At this stage, your gums may be slightly red and may bleed when you brush them, but you may not notice much yet.
As gum disease progresses, little pockets of infection form at where the gums attach to your teeth. They are not visible to your eyes, but you may notice traces of blood on your toothbrush and puffy gums.
Given time, the pockets of infection breaks down the gum tissues and bones that are normally attach to the teeth. At this stage, you will notice more bleeding and swelling of your gums. If you leave these problems unattended, your teeth will become loose and you risk loosing your teeth.
To protect and keep your teeth for life, start with brushing your teeth twice a day, floss before bedtime, and see your dentist regularly for cleanings and check ups.