What Is Gum Disease?
Gum disease is an infection in the tissues surrounding and supporting your teeth, including the gum tissue, the periodontal ligaments, and the bone.
Gum disease is caused by plaque, the sticky film that builds up on your teeth throughout the day. Plaque is full of bacteria, so we want to remove it by brushing twice a day and flossing once daily.
If plaque isn’t removed, it calcifies and turns into a substance called tartar or calculus. When plaque reaches this stage, it is impossible to remove with a toothbrush and floss. The only way to remove tartar is with specialized dental tools.
Because tartar contains bacteria, it causes gum inflammation and infection, similar to how the skin on your hand reacts when you get a sliver. Eventually, the gums start to pull away from the teeth, forming deeper pockets around the teeth, causing more plaque and food debris to get trapped.