Periodontal disease, more commonly called gum disease, is a serious condition wherein your gums and the bone around your teeth become infected. This infection is caused by the buildup of plaque and tartar. The plaque and tartar then start to eat away at the gums and bone in your mouth, eventually causing irreversible damage.
This all begins with the formation of plaque. When you eat food, particularly foods high in sugar or starch, it mixes with your saliva and can be a feeding ground for bacterial plaque.  If you are not brushing and flossing regularly to remove this plaque, it continues to grow and it accumulates around the gum line. This will cause your gums to be inflamed, a condition known as gingivitis. Eventually, if not removed or treated, bone loss starts to occur.  This is known as periodontitis. The most serious ramifications of this in the long term is tooth loss. This is an irreversible result that you will want to avoid.
You can prevent periodontal disease by practicing good oral hygiene and brushing and flossing daily.  You should be visiting your dentist regularly, ideally every 6 months (or more often if you already have gum disease or other dental issues).  Professional cleanings can help remove the plaque and regular brushing and flossing can’t.  They can get to places that a toothbrush cannot.
How do you know if you have gum disease?  A few signs and symptoms are:
* Swollen, red, tender or bleeding gums
* Gums that are receding from teeth
* Persistent bad breath or bad taste in mouth
* Loose teeth
* Visible pus surrounding the teeth and gums
Schedule an appointment with the best dentist in Bristol, VA immediately if you have any of these symptoms.