Gum disease is the number one cause of tooth loss currently. Anyone at any age can have gum disease. Gum disease attacks the gums as well as the bone, which together form the foundation for your teeth. As the bone literally dissolves away from around your teeth, they become loose and fall out.
Gum disease is caused by plaque. If the plaque is not removed on a daily basis, it will form tartar, which is a breeding ground for germs that cause gum disease. Bleeding gums are the first sign of gum disease. Puffy, tender and red gums are also signs of infection.
Regular visits to your dentist are the best way of stopping gum disease early before too much damage has been done. Gum disease will not go away by itself or with good home care. Plaque deep under the gums can only be removed with professional cleanings.