The Early Signs of Gum Disease

Happy new year from the Smile Workshop team! We’ve been hard at work preparing for a healthy and happy year at each of our offices, and one of our biggest goals this year is to help our patients understand the importance of total oral health. Our patients tend to focus mostly on their dental health, but gum health is just as important. That’s why we’re kicking the year off with the early signs of gum disease – we want to ensure you have a happy, healthy 2016!

What is gum disease?

Periodontal (gum) disease is inflammation and discomfort of the gums. Gum disease is caused by the build up of bacteria on the tooth near the gum line. This build up is usually accompanied by mucus and food particles, causing plaque to form. Gum disease can start with minor inflammation and, in worst cases, can lead to tooth loss.

Early signs

The earliest sign of gum disease is the plaque itself that forms at the gum line. It may not have immediately caused gum disease, but prolonged exposure and added build-up will lead to gum disease.

Gingivitis is the first stage of declining gum health – it occurs after extended periods of exposure to plaque and tartar. This is easily treated by a visit to Smile Workshop where our dentists will perform a deep-cleaning, removing the tartar and scraping spots where bacteria gathers.

Advanced stages

If gingivitis isn’t immediately treated, gum health will decline and periodontitis, or inflammation of the tooth, will occur. This is when gums start to pull away from teeth and form pockets that may become infected. If not treated quickly, teeth can be destroyed and eventually removed.


Gum health isn’t hard to maintain. By simply following the American Dental Association’s recommendation of brushing 1 – 2 times daily and flossing regularly, most plaque and tartar build up can be avoided. However, if you start to see the early signs of gum disease form, call us to book an appointment.

–       Smile Workshop